The Brookledge Follies is preparing to enter its 5th season. We want to create the best season EVER, but in order to keep going we need help! For the past four years, we have showcased scores of performances from some of the most talented performers on the planet. The Follies has created a space for the variety arts to flourish, expand and evolve. The people who are part of this community are here because of their love for the variety arts. As a modern vaudeville collective, we are dedicated to the preservation and advancement of these fantastic and variegated art forms.
What is truly special about Brookledge is the venue. Brookledge is one of the most extraordinary places in Los Angeles. Paul Reubens called it, "A place you can hardly believe exists. A fairy tale come to life... " Not only is it a historical landmark, it is simply magical.
Ryan Gosling says, "I'm in love with Brookledge and what's going on here."
The private theater was built in 1933 by a famous inventor of magic effects apparatus, Floyd Thayer, and was "the" gathering place for magicians during the 30’s, 40’s and 50’s.
It is currently owned by the Larsen family, the same family who created the Magic Castle in Hollywood. After sitting (mostly) empty for decades, Brookledge was brought back to life several years ago with the launch of the Brookledge Follies. The Brookledge Follies is a true vaudeville experience which embraces the burgeoning local (and increasingly non-local) variety arts community. These shows give both performers and audiences alike a chance to really appreciate the craft that goes into an act - be it magic, juggling, singing, dancing, puppetry… you name it.
Photos by Mark Berry
David Arquette has this to say about the Follies, "Brookledge Follies is art, love, and magic. It's simply a combination of my favorite things in the world" Like our good friend David, we are committed to supporting the variety arts. But in order to keep perfecting what we do, we must improve our physical capabilities.
Our equipment is sadly outdated and falling apart. If we are going to continue the Follies into 2014 and beyond, we need to upgrade our lighting and sound systems so that we can get the most out of our intimate space, provide our performers with the best stagecraft possible and create more striking effects onstage. Brookledge is fortunate to benefit from the collaboration of a number of talented and knowledgeable people who have expertise in several fields--artistic, technical, and financial. We have been advised about the specific items of lighting and sound equipment that will best meet our needs as well as suit our budget.
Here are our basic needs:
1) Rewire the entire electrical system (circa ???) and install new wiring throughout, additional breakers, replace electrical panels, etc. This is our number 1 priority.
2) Install all new theatrical lighting equipment, including a new lighting board and follow spot.
3) Replace all sound equipment from microphones to speakers, subwoofers, cable, sound board, etc.
4) Purchase projector and wireless headset. These can be used at Brookledge and other events where they can be of use to the variety arts community.
Once we raise our funds for this project, we will purchase the lights and controller that we have selected, as well as new speakers, cable, microphones, projector and wireless headset. The more money we raise, the more improvements we will be able to make. All the money earned will go directly into enhancing Brookledge, and expanding the Follies. We want the 2014 season to be the best yet!
We will install the technical upgrades in time for our grand re-opening in the spring of 2014. This premiere will be a much-anticipated, first class affair featuring a Who's Who of local talent. It will be the first chance anyone will have to experience the new and improved Brookledge Follies. And that will only be the beginning! We are planning a new wave of Brookledge Follies for the future. These shows will benefit from an expanded lighting plot and more nuanced sound system, as well as all-new special effects and projection capabilities. As we strive to make the space better, we will keep our mission focused on reviving vaudeville and supporting variety artists. Brookledge is not just a place… it’s a community. Ultimately, the Brookledge Follies is about creating a kaleidoscopic family where people from myriad creative disciplines can cross-pollinate and benefit from one another. It is a space where artists can take risks, showcase their work and collaborate with their peers. It is an enchanted place where Vaudeville aficionados, artists and audiences alike can appreciate, support and help to evolve the presence of the variety arts in our beautiful city. With your support, we will be able to continue to bridge history and innovation, making the Brookledge Follies the best it can possibly be and propelling it far beyond its physical home.
Thank you so much for taking the time to read this and for considering a contribution to Brookledge. We hope you will want to be a part of it!
Brookledge Spookshow Posters: (Design by Mike Moon)
Kristian Hoffman designed Brookledge Follies T-Shirt!!!
(Back not shown: "I support the Brookledge Follies! Kickstarter 2013")
Risks and challenges
The biggest obstacles that we will face is the building itself and correcting the wiring, etc. as we go along. This may end up being a bigger job than we anticipated, but we are devoted to upgrading everything we can and restoring Brookledge! It's going to happen!! Brookledge and the Brookledge Follies will THRIVE in 2014 and beyond!!!Learn about accountability on Kickstarter
- (30 days)