NEW YORK, NY—Whenever a legal, bank holiday is set for a Monday, impresario Sir William Welles and his crew usually plan to hold a costume and music event, the Redrum Ball, on the preceding Sunday evening. These are, of course, MLK Day, Memorial Day and Labor Day. Columbus Day affords another opportunity for a Sunday all-night-long event. In the past, this recurring event has been held at the now-closed R Bar in Nolita, Katra on the Bowery and, now, presently, at 49 Grove in the West Village.
Lately these nights have taken on special themes, rather than just generic Gothic-industrial dark culture. Subjects have been as diverse as “Circus of Horrors” and “Demented Fairy Tales,” and guests are encouraged to costume-up accordingly. This night the keynote, “Rise of the Dark Side,” blended such science fiction cinematic icons as Star Trek, Star Wars and The Matrix. Many, but not all attendees dressed in conformity with one or another leitmotif. A contest was held celebrating the success of three entrants in achieving impressive authenticity in their costumed identities.
A star-studded lineup of DJs energized the guests to dance, luring them off of the comfortable sofas and out of the cozy sitting areas for which this venue is famous, to move their bodies on the carpeted dance-floor. Such masters of the art as V Christ, Aengel, and NJ’s own Mindsolvent provided a steady flow of danceable favorites from the likes of The Cure, Peter Murphy and Skinny Puppy.
Entry was an affordable $10 with flyer, $12 for those without. Doors were at 10 p.m., at which time drinks were actually half-price until 11 p.m. I had to do a double-take when the friendly and attractive bartender returned me enough change to buy myself and my crew a second round!
In the middle of festivities, a pantomime show featuring Cassandra Rosebeetle and another scantily clad actress took over the floor and enacted a silent, ballet-like performance ending in a simulated murder.
Like the civilized observers we are, I and my crew left around 2 a.m. while the party seemed to be just getting started. That’s okay. We are already checking our calendar for the next major holiday to fall on a Monday. Hopefully there will be a Redrum Ball the night before Labor Day.