Chad Ward Explains The Lost Grind Opera

Headlining performer Victoria Vengeance. Image by Chad Ward.

This Friday the 13th, Los Angeles will see the premiere of a new dark cabaret night hosted & organized by Coilhouse favorite Chad Michael Ward. This new night is called Lost Grind Opera, and all I knew about it before writing this post is that it’s hosted by two clowns that make me extremely uncomfortable and that there are a lot of pretty ladies involved. Although I’m not a huge fan of burlesque events, I’m curious to check this one out, because I’m curious to find out what Chad in particular thinks will make for a good show. If the actual event is anything like the photography and graphic design that he’s been cranking out to promote it, I know it’ll be something unique. So I caught up with Chad and asked him a few questions about this upcoming night.

Headlining performer Shelby “Belfast” Jones. Image by Chad Ward.

Lost Grind promises to be a cabaret show unlike any other. In an era that’s oversaturated with neo-burlesque outfits, what’s in store that we’ve perhaps never seen before?
“Burlesque” has taken many shapes and forms over the last decade here in Los Angeles.  We’ve seen everything from very traditional acts that hearken back to the 50s to modern dance troupes to full-on stripteases, and everything in between.  With the Lost Grind Opera, we’ve taken some of the better bits of what makes Burlesque great: live music, comedy, beautiful women and both vintage and modern dance and combined it with the kind of dark and sultry sensibility you might find in a Prohibition-era speakeasy or 1940s Berlin with a touch of vaudeville and theater.  The end result is a new unique experience for the patrons of the L.A. underground looking to be entertained in a way that has yet to be fulfilled.

Can you describe some of the performances that we can expect to see at Lost Grind Opera?
I don’t want to give too much away, but the evening’s overall theme is “Decadence” and the girls have taken their routines in many different directions.  We’ve got a bit of cabaret, a touch of drag, a little Cajun mysticism and some Gypsy spirit all done to the live music of our house band, The Grinder Monkey Quartet.

What kind of atmosphere does the El Cid Theater have?
The El Cid was originally built as a theater for D.W. Griffith’s “Birth of a Nation” to be screened.  In the 1950s it became a well-known Cabaret Concert Theater before eventually becoming the Flamenco dance theater and restaurant it is today.  It’s got a very intimate and historic vibe to it that made it perfect for our inaugural show.

Thank you, Chad! Hope to see you there.

10 Responses to “Chad Ward Explains The Lost Grind Opera”

  1. Mer Says:

    Oooo. This looks incredibly scrumptious and I’m drooling on myself. The Cid sounds like the perfect venue, too. Really wish I could be there! But, one small question…. 1940s Berlin? Really? I thought all of the sexy Weimar action in that town ran screaming for cover after about 1933…

  2. Nadya Says:

    Hmm, good point, Mer. It’s either a typo or maybe there’s an element of Nazi chic, which wouldn’t be inconsistent with some of Chad’s past work.

  3. Tequila Says:

    1940’s Berlin…well if by “sultry sensibility” we’re talking about massive explosions, rampant paranoia, & extreme brutality then this could be one really fun night!

    Sounds fun and with the right kind of acts it could prove beneficial to LA nightlife…unless people take it painfully serious and suck the marrow out of it before summer.

    I trust Chad’s tastes…so fingers crossed this truly proves to go beyond the usual burlesque shtick.

  4. Chad Michael Ward Says:

    Although I didn’t go into specifics in the interview, I should note that there are nods to both 1920s AND 1940s Berlin.

    Tequila, I appreciate the trust. I will say, this IS a burlesque show–girls will be stripping off the clothing to music. However, I’m hoping the format we’ve come up with, the addition of live music and the fact that only one of the routines involves traditional burlesque is enough to put us above other acts in town.

    I will say this: I’ve NEVER been to a Burlesque show I’ve actually enjoyed, yet the Lost Grind Opera has consistently turned me on, made me laugh and gotten my heartbeat racing.

  5. Vivacious G Says:

    This looks AWESOME.

  6. Stephanie Says:

    I’m coming back home for the weekend and I certainly am looking forward to it!

  7. Io Says:

    I’ll see you there! I come into town on Thurs. and on Fri. I’m going straight from my shoot w/Karen Hsiao to the event. You better come say “hello” if you see me first!

  8. Chad Michael Ward Says:

    @Stephanie and @Io

    Be sure to email [email protected] to reserve you tix. We’re selling out fast!

  9. Tequila Says:

    @Io…How cool, look forward to seeing the results from that shoot with Karen Hsiao.

  10. Jeff Pittarelli Says:

    I was extremely disappointed…there was nothing of the Chad Ward touch I have come to know and love…this was exactly everything I hate about Burlesque shows…where was the dark foreboding imagery of Chad? The music was a boring pseudo-burlesque style that continued to tinker on for the evening…the dancing & the costumes looked store-bought and un-original…I was expecting disturbing imagery or at least something to jolt my senses…instead…I was bored outta my mind…I know it was a success Chad…but I’m sorry to say…someone else’s purse must have been pulling the strings…this just couldn’t have been your idea. please tell me is isn’t so? This aint no Pain Box or Disturbing Beauties imagery in any way! Tame and uninspiring, maybe just to make money was the idea…

    Peace and very disappointed