On tonight’s elegant yet trashy edition of After Hours AM/America’s Most Haunted Radio with hosts Joel Sturgis and Eric Olsen, 9-11pE, we dig into the whimsical yet macabre world of artist/illustrator Edward Gorey, talking with founder of the Edwardian Ball multimedia extravaganza Justin Katz, and with the curator of the Edward Gorey House, Gregory Hischak. In the 9pE hour, Joel and Eric will chat about this and that and cover the week’s paranormal news. Then in the 10pE hour we will talk with Justin and Gregory. Listen to the show live and the recorded podcast right here!
The 7th Annual Edwardian Ball returns to Hollywood’s legendary and storied Fonda Theatre on Saturday, February 27, 2016. The epic and elegant yet seductively dark affair that enchants all of the senses is a re-imagined turn-of-the-century world that presents an inimitable, description-defying, whimsical and surrealistic living interpretation and celebration of the late macabre cult author, comic artist, illustrator and cartoonist Edward Gorey.
The Edwardian Ball blends live music, theater, fashion and cosplay, circus, fine art, riveting stage shows, black comedy, science fiction, literature, ballroom dancing, and DJs into a whirlwind and enticing extravaganza set in a romanticized, gilded and genteel Neo-Victorian and Edwardian-era gothic and steampunk-tinged distant past that imagines an elegant alternate reality future. All ages are welcome.
For over 20 years, Justin Katz has been involved in music and theatrical production in myriad of ways. His journey began with playing the bass, and always seems to come back to that – his band Rosin Coven was founded in 1997 and has traveled the country and overseas ever since, delighting audiences of all stripes with their unique brand of “Pagan Lounge Music.” Justin Katz is co-founder of the Edwardian Ball, launched in San Francisco in 2000.
Justin explains the Ball’s origins: “Rosin Coven was and still is into immersive, interactive performance. We crossed paths with a friend who happened to own a San Francisco nightclub. We chatted at a bar in the middle of the desert, and noticed an Edward Gorey book laying on the bar top. Gorey! Wouldn’t it be fun to do a party in his honor? I have the bar. We have the band. Let’s make it a Ball. Edward’s Ball. The Edwardian Ball.”
And so they did.
When not performing or mulling over the stories of Edward Gorey, Justin also works as a concert producer for Goldenvoice San Francisco, bringing over 200 concerts a year to theater and arena stages throughout the Bay Area. He has managed an arts non-profit, directed a hip-hop theater company, and currently manages a small roster of artists including The John Brothers Piano Company. He collects hats, rock posters, records, Japanese welcome cats, and lives in the SF area with his longtime performance partner and wife Carrie Katz, and their two amazing sons.
A prodigious and original artist, Edward St. John Gorey (1925-2000), gave to the world over one hundred works, including The Gashlycrumb Tinies, The Doubtful Guest and The Wuggly Ump; prize-winning set and costume designs for innumerable theater productions from Cape Cod to Broadway; a remarkable number of illustrations in publications such as The New Yorker and The New York Times, and in books by a wide array of authors including Samuel Beckett, T.S. Eliot, John Updike, Charles Dickens, Edward Lear, Lewis Carroll, Hilaire Belloc, John Ciardi, Muriel Spark, Edmund Wilson, Peter Neumeyer, Virginia Woolf, H.G. Wells, Florence Parry Heide, Bram Stoker, Raymond Chandler, Gilbert & Sullivan.
His well known animated credits for the PBS Mystery series have introduced him to millions of television viewers. Gorey’s masterful pen and ink illustrations and his ironic, offbeat humor have brought him critical acclaim and an avid following throughout the world.
Edward Gorey House
Gregory Hischak is a poet, playwright, Etch-A-Sketch artist and curator of the Edward Gorey House in Yarmouth Port, MA.
The Edward Gorey House celebrates and preserves the life and works of Edward Gorey. In honor of his legacy, The House, owned and lived in by Gorey himself, displays his diverse and extraordinary talents and reflects his distinct personality. The House also honors Gorey’s passion and concern for animals, raising awareness about local and national animal welfare issues. As a dedicated commemoration to Gorey, the House strives to educate and inspire its visitors, offering a unique introduction to Edward Gorey, the artist and person.
“A is for Amy who fell down the stairs; B is for Basil assaulted by bears…” That initial couplet, announcing the untimely demise of twenty-six very unfortunate children, has amused and horrified readers – often concurrently – for fifty years. 2013 was the golden anniversary of the publication of The Gashlycrumb Tinies, Edward Gorey’s most iconic alphabet book and likely his best known work.
The Edward Gorey House opens for the season on April 15. with “Artifacts from the Archives – Rare, Never-Seen, Hardly-Ever Seen & Rediscovered Works by Edward Gorey.”
A trove of seldom-seen and first-ever seen artwork by Edward Gorey. It will be a very eclectic assemblage of childhood art, high school projects, an unpublished book from the early ’50s, color works, another partially completed book about a guinea pig, ceramics, etchings and a lot of commercial illustration that has not been seen since publication. The exhibit is a wonderful menagerie of creatures, characters and landscapes that, until now, have languished in obscurity.