“I have toasted the devil in his shadowy realm
I will dance with the devil until the night is done
The Axe Man cometh, seeking blood
My blood is spared, yet my soul…is gone”
Moving down an alley in Los Angeles, I am pulled toward the sickening sound of a funeral dirge. I approach a gate, and the slow march is replaced by the brass sounds of a 1920’s jazz band. Tattered banners hang from the rafters, a severed bloody face smiles at me from across the room, and green and gold lights illuminate an alter adorned with skulls and candles. I take in the strange ambiance, and notice even stranger characters moving through the fog-drenched bayou. My trepidation is replaced by excitement. Bloody Gras is ready for me.
Bloody Gras, by The Drunken Devil, was an expertly crafted party experience blending burlesque, magic, and immersive elements with horror. The first stop for most patrons was the alcohol. The Casillero Del Diablo cabernet was available for those who enjoy wine, but I loved the multiple themed cocktails: coffee infused Fliquor Bean concoctions, a delicious version of The Hurricane, and a rum Mason-Dixon Line (my personal favorite). These drinks flowed freely and paired perfectly with the night’s ceremony and surprises.
The Devil himself launched the evening’s entertainment. With large horns and a blood red face, he climbed onto stage and welcomed us to Bloody Gras. From there, he joined the masses and promoted sin and debauchery throughout the evening. Mingling with him was an absolute delight; you could dance with the devil or listen to him proudly claim responsibility for the evils in the world. He laughed as he told me he was to blame for the current levels of pollution—or even the political climate. “You know, I invented these things,” he said casually while taking a drag off a cigarette.
While enjoying their drinks, guests were delightfully entertained by a multitude of amazing performers wandering throughout the crowd of Bloody Gras. Whodini Driftwood displayed amazing sword swallowing feats; Twirly The Clown crept through the crowd creating mischief; and Magicians, Micah Cover and Scott Michael, shocked all who encountered them. This all was supported by a live Dixieland band allowed guests to dance the night away. But when the stunning Madeline Sinclaire, Jessebell Thunder, and Scarlett Fox stepped onto stage, the crowd took notice. These ladies provided a tantalizing burlesque show. The cold drinks were needed with the added heat from the show. Displaying equal parts class and sex-appeal, they awed the audience with their performance.
The night also allowed guests to step outside of their usual lives and experience a small immersive experience aptly titled, “The Axe Man Cometh.” As guests mingled, whispers of a girl in a red dress named Josephine floated through the crowds. If guests were able to find her, she warned them of an ominous, murderous spirit known as The Axe Man. She sent people to a Voodoo Priestess who offered the choice to trade your soul for protection against The Axe Man. The experience climaxed when a scream pierced the festivities of the Burlesque show. Frantic, Josephine emerged, running across the floor—desperately trying to escape from someone. The Axe Man pursued and easily caught her. With one swing of his axe, he cut her down right on the dance floor. He then proceeded to move through the crowd, cutting the throats of any guests who did not receive protection from the priestess earlier. Splatted with blood and gore, The Axe Man’s spirit lingered throughout the remainder of the night.
The Drunken Devil’s Bloody Gras was a successful adaption of the “macabre Mardi Gras” concept. Expertly combining a festive party with live entertainment, immersive theater, and horror, these aspects all worked seamlessly together. The Drunken Devil knows how to host a party—and beyond that, they continue to innovate and refine this brand with increasing finesse. I look forward to see their continued evolution—I am a fan of the Devil!
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Thank you to Annie Lesser for her wonderful pictures, originally published for LAist.