‘Illuminati Ball’ returns for New York Comic Con book release

The "Illuminati Ball" production returns to a secret location in New York City on Oct. 4. Photo Credit: Mark Shelby Perry

Guests take part in rituals with provocative dance and gutsy performances featuring fire, levitation and music at an undisclosed “historic” temple.

The "Illuminati Ball" production returns to a secret location in New York City on Oct. 4.
The "Illuminati Ball" production returns to a secret location in New York City on Oct. 4. Photo Credit: Linda Rosier

The enigmatic "Illuminati Ball," the secret theatrical party that meets yearly under the cloak of darkness, returns to New York City next month.

The "Alice in Wonderland"-esque masquerade ball will be held Oct. 4 to coincide with New York Comic Con, where a graphic novel it inspired will be unveiled.

The Illuminati Ball, which normally is held on New Year’s Eve, is based on the original secretive Illuminati group from 1776 that aimed to remove religious influence in public life and end abuses of state power, but it also adds an element of intrigue and sensuality. The immersive performance created by Cynthia von Buhler is inspired by leaked images of the Rothschilds’ 1972 surrealist ball, where Audrey Hepburn wore a birdcage over her head and the Baroness de Rothschild donned a stag head mask with a diamond tear.

Like that party, von Buhler’s Illuminati Ball features human-animal hybrids that interact with guests who are immersed in a provocative story inside an undisclosed "historic temple" in the East Village. 

The "Illuminati Ball" is spread across three floors inside a "historic temple."
The "Illuminati Ball" is spread across three floors inside a "historic temple." Photo Credit: Mark Shelby Perry

As the night unfolds, guests will take part in rituals with provocative dance and gutsy performances featuring fire, levitation and music (with nudity involved) with the hopes of imparting the moral, "Be not a cancer on earth — leave room for nature."

There’s a catch, though. Hopeful attendees must apply to be accepted and purchase tickets. The application online at theilluminatiball.com includes questions like "Why do you want to attend the Illuminati Ball?" "Do you want more power in your life?" "How could you help the Illuminati?" "and "Some people will be leashed. Interested?" and more.

The Oct. 4 ball celebrates the Oct. 16 release of von Buhler’s graphic novel of the same name, coinciding with New York Comic Con.

The book, which was written and illustrated by von Buhler, follows a scientist, a singer, a chef, an attorney and a financier — all who crave power, love, money, respect, fame — who attend the ball. Their host, known only as "Pig King," craves salvation for his kind.

von Buhler will be at Comic Con from 3 to 4 p.m. Oct. 3 to sign books at the Titan Booth #2142. 

Cynthia von Buhler will sign her graphic novel "The Illuminati Ball," published by Titan Comics, at New York Comic Con on Oct. 3.
Cynthia von Buhler will sign her graphic novel "The Illuminati Ball," published by Titan Comics, at New York Comic Con on Oct. 3. Photo Credit: Cynthia von Buhler / Titan Comics

If you go: The location will be announced to those who purchase tickets, which cost $250 or $450 per person on theilluminatiball.com. The party runs from 8 to 11 p.m.

Shaye Weaver