Revelers who walked into the legendary Park Plaza for KCRW’s 5th Annual Masquerade, a costume ball and dance party to benefit the station, were greeted by the 16-piece Angel City All-Star Brass Band, the outrageous, otherworldly characters of circus troupe Lucent Dossier, as well as the lovely ladies of burlesque crew the Bella Donnas, in all their feathered glory, lining the grand staircase leading from the lobby to two upstairs rooms where dance parties immediately began and kept going until curfew was called.
As I was leaving the event, I was chatting with a fantastically costumed attendee who said a stranger had approached and handed him a envelope addressed to “You”. The signed letter inside simply said “Nice Costume, Bro”.
That captures the spirit of Masquerade in many ways. While there is an actual costume contest, it doesn’t feel like a competition. It’s a joyous gathering of creative types who have taken the occasion to flaunt their skills in front of a crowd that will truly appreciate it.
The story is, obviously, better told in photos, but a few things of note at this year’s event:
The Grizfolk guys play catchy pop songs that are easy on the ears but went a little off-center with a Clockwork Orange theme for their costumes.
Meanwhile, Guest DJ Dave Sitek made a spectacular Clark Kent playing a wide mix of tracks and the masked duo Dale Earnhardt Jr Jr led a capacity crowd on a musical journey.
Macauley Culkin, in a dress and red lipstick, was a special guest joining Har Mar Superstar on stage for a song. (Har Mar, of course, was shirtless, as is his way), while Tom Chasteen and The Lions kept the reggae dub vibes rolling downstairs in the Haunted Dancehall.
Glasser’s music is already dramatic but, seeing it live, the intensity was elevated a few levels. She moves across the stage deliberately for maximum impact and had the crowd captivated before Jason Bentley took the stage for a full throttle dance set, which Rob Garza (of Thievery Corporation) carried on into the early morning hours.
Extra credit to DJ Chris Douridas who straight up scared me when he first walked into the venue. And Travis Holcombe who shocked me in a different way — by dressing like a Juggalo.