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Gotham City Black & White Ball and San Francisco History Expo this weekend

Actions Past reenactor as Leland Stanford and PEERS actors as Bruce Wayne, Harley Quinn and the Joker
Actions Past and Jean Martin

The weekend of March 1-2 has two events that may be of interest to costumers as well as people who love to see costumes. First, the Period Events and Entertainments Re-creation Society (PEERS) will be holding a Gotham City Black & White Ball inspired by the DC comics universe. Second, the San Francisco Museum and Historical Society will be showcasing organizations that promote the history of San Francisco’s diverse communities.

March 1
PEERS Gotham City Black & White Ball
San Mateo Masonic Lodge

The inspiration for this event is a Black & White Charity Ball sponsored by Bruce Wayne (aka the Batman) for the benefit of the Arkham Asylum’s Building Fund. Also attending will be various superheroes and villains in disguise portrayed by PEERS actors. Characters will include Selena Kyle (the former Cat Woman), Timothy Drake (the current Robin) and Richard Grayson (the previous Robin). The Joker (musical guest artist Lee Presson) and Harley Quinn are also expected to make an appearance. Check out the Daily Planet online ( for more information on who’s who at the ball.

Guests may also attend as superheroes or villains but incognito. According to PEERS Artistic Director Cathleen Myers, “this is not a superhero/villain costume.” Myers suggests that since the look of Gotham City is very Film Noir, “your costumes may be 1930s, 40s, 50s, modern 'retro' attire or simply modern evening dress. Black, white and/or grey attire is optional and costumes are admired by not required. Your accessories and your style, manners and acting can subtly hint at your true identity.”

March 1 and 2
San Francisco History Expo
The Old Mint, San Francisco

Fifty San Francisco organizations will be present at the San Francisco History Expo, which aims to promote awareness of and celebrate San Francisco’s rich cultural past. These local museums, societies, groups and non-profit groups will be offering mini-museums, historic films, special programs, art exhibits, and of course, costuming.

Actions Past is one of the organizations who will be participating in the event. Actions Past is a group of living-history reenactors, in accurate period costuming, who will be mingling with visitors as well as offering demonstrations, performances and impromptu theater. Patrick Gaul, the head of Actions Past, said that “the date ranges adhered to by our characters will be set, to a large degree, by the locations and historical events most closely associated with the classic Barbary Coast and adjacent areas. Generally, we will cover dates for the last 50 years of the 19th century, with the greatest concentration of effort being the 1860s to the 1870s.” Famous characters they will be portraying will include California governor Leland Stanford, philanthropist and volunteer firefighter Lilli Hitchcock Coit and beloved entertainer Lotta Crabtree.

Copyright 2014, Jean Martin.

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