Circus music set to an eerie tone.
Imagine entering an over-the-top big top in a macabre setting.
That's the feeling Club XS in York will create Friday for the Third Annual Black & White Party, which will feature comedian/actress/singer Sandra Bernhard.
The theme for the event is late-1800s French carnival with street performers in indoor and outdoor shows, local food vendors serving their signature dishes - including sushi, steak and pasta - silent and live auctions, bar and shuttle service at several designated parking areas near Club XS.
Charles Oswald, chairman of the Black & White Party's board of directors, said more than 100 people, including actors and makeup artists, are involved in bringing the dark, gothic show to life.
Salon Oxygen in Spring Garden Township volunteered to create outrageous hairstyles, some with feathers and sticks, for the show.
The event will also include a modern version of Threepenny Opera with songs such as Billy Idol's "White Wedding."
"So, people can relate to it," Oswald said. "The whole show is very Cirque du Soleil."
Proceeds from the event will go to Caring Together - a collaborative partnership of Family First Health; WellSpan Health; and Ordinary People, Extraordinary Needs to provide care for people who are HIV positive - and the AIDS Fund of South Central Pennsylvania.
Last year's Black & White Party made $34,000 for charity, Oswald said.
Officials for this year's show hope to top that amount but aren't sure how the difficult economy might impact the fundraising goal.
"The most important thing is, we would love to raise a lot of money," Oswald said.
On Tuesday during dress rehearsal for the event, Tina Rias of West York wore a bodysuit costume that gave the illusion that she was covered in tattoos and donning a skimpy outfit.
Her daughter Jacy Chantiles was dressed as a belly dancer.
"You're helping the community. You can't beat it," Rias said of volunteering to perform in the show.
"It's very colorful. It has a range of people . . . backgrounds and experience," said Lower Windsor Township resident Debra Rivera, who plays a knife thrower's assistant.
"It's different than anything else you would see in the local venues," said Christopher Quigley, the entertainment director for the show. "It's very avant-garde . . . It's like Halloween in May. What's more fun than that."
- TERESA McMINN, FOR FLIPSIDE
If you go
WHAT: Third Annual Black & White Party fundraiser
WHEN: 6 p.m. Friday
WHERE: Club XS, 36 W. 11th Ave. in North York
COST: $35 in advance and $45 at the door
DETAILS: Call 846-6969 or email firstname.lastname@example.org