VIP doors at 7:00 p.m.
GA doors at 7:30 p.m.
Show at 8:00 p.m.
ABOUT THE FIRE BALL MASQUERADE, AND A THANK-YOU/FAREWELL
Co-producers Emily Mills and Jesse Russell began the Fire Ball in 2007 as part of their work with the Dane101.com website, and spun it off into its own independent production once that site ceased operations. In the ten years of its run, the Fire Ball has brought top-notch artists from across the nation (and world!) to perform for almost always sold-out Madison crowds. It has built a reputation for being one of the best and most creative nights of entertainment in the Midwest.
Emily and Jesse wanted to create a show that catered to the geeks, nerds, freaks, weirdos, and curious onlookers of Dane County, providing 1) incredible, unique performances, 2) an excuse to get dressed up in the middle of winter, and 3) an affordable night of entertainment. They purposely worked to keep ticket prices reasonable for the duration of the run, all while making a commitment from the get-go (which they’ve kept) to paying all performers and crew for their time and talent. To that end, they have been helped by various local sponsors and vendors (Industrial DisEase Toys, Tone Madison, Sable Park Photography, Dutcher Photography, Hotel Ruby Marie, and many others) and generous VIP patrons.
Emily’s connections to the Chicago performance scene bolstered efforts to make the show as wide-reaching as possible from the beginning, including the enormous benefit of having the very talented emcee (and comedian) Tamale Sepp on board from day one. Stage Manager and Madison local Sarah Luedtke has helped to bring a high level of professionalism behind the scenes as well, establishing the Fire Ball as one of the most sought-after and respected performance destinations by artists throughout the Midwest.
We have been proud to bring in a truly diverse slate of artists from as far away as Los Angeles, New York, and even Russia and Ukraine (by way of Las Vegas), while always keeping a core of local performers in the rotation as well. The show has featured everything from death-defying acrobatics and circus skills, to bitingly political burlesque and drag, as well as bellydance, fire performance, contortionists, and even a world-class opera singer (who returns for an encore performance this year!).
Emily and Jesse would like to thank, from the bottom of their hearts, every single person who has helped make this show such an incredible success (and absolute joy) for the last 10 years, and to the High Noon Saloon (where everything started) and the Majestic Theater (where it’s been for the majority of its run) for housing the debauchery. They are both sad to leave it all behind, but have reached the point where the decision is necessary for their own personal and professional sanity and growth. They regret not a moment of the journey, and admit that, given the right circumstances, the show could return for an anniversary in 5 or 10 years.
For now, they hope to see faces old and new at the final show on January 27. Here’s to the freaks and weirdos, and to keeping our fires burning hot through the long night!