Presented by the Down Syndrome Association of Los Angeles, TwentyWonder – ‘A Carnival of the Mind’ was the latest fundraiser/performance art experience from Founder Jim Hodgson.
Hosted by and featuring the L.A. Derby Dolls, the event went down on Saturday night, July 7. Even with a sold-out crowd the vast warehouse that is the Doll Factory, at 1910 West Temple Street never felt too packed.
Self-described as, “a bursting expo of art, science, music, comedy, weird geeky stuff and more,” TwentyWonder - ‘A Carnival of the Mind’ was all of that, plus a great opportunity for eclectic people watching.
This was the third TwentyWonder event in as many years, stemming from early benefits hosted by Hodgson in his back yard, to raise money for DSALA. Creator and host of ‘Mystery Science Theater,’ Hodgson started the group after his son was diagnosed with Down syndrome (or Trisomy 21).
Friends of TwentyWonder include screenwriter Judd Apatow, singer Rob Thomas, Bryan Cranston, Sarah Silverman, Jane Lynch, and others.
Although I saw none of the above in attendance on Saturday night, I did watch Russell Brand’s hair walk away from the roller rink. The actor/musician had one arm around the shoulders of a lovely, young woman, and the other around a Buddhist monk.
Comedian Steve-O ran the hoop toss booth, posing for pictures, flashing his trademark smile.
Roving performers from Cirque Berzerk provided entertainment, along with art and science exhibits, games, and a raffle where guests could win, among other items, a guitar signed by the Foo Fighters or an autographed Shepard Fairey print.
The Jose O’Malley’s food truck (where mashed potatoes and nachos share the same menu) served up a tasty pork sandwich, while the gourmet burgers from Me So Hungry were juicy and delicious.
The L.A. Derby Dolls beat the visiting San Diego Derby Dolls 148 to 51, although I could not tell you why, since I am in no way clear on the rules of Roller Derby.
Entertaining for its interesting strategy and the efforts (and outfits) of its competitors, the sport feels both retro and modern, and the sounds of the 4-wheeled skates bring back some memories.
A co-sponsor of the event, and Executive Producer of ‘Mike and Molly’ Don Foster, never stopped working, seemingly everywhere all at once. Foster’s longtime girlfriend Erin Quigley spent the evening cheerfully tending bar.
Andy Kindler took the stage to tell some jokes, and mock his lukewarm reception, before introducing the band Jack Sh*t. The Watson Twins followed, and the atmosphere turned more country fair than carnival.
Mexican Wrestling Comedy Burlesque troop Lucha VaVoom performed their spicy act on a small wrestling ring in the center of the Doll Factory, gathering the largest audience.
To support DSALA or learn more about Down syndrome visit, http://www.dsala.org/