It starts with a table of keys, two dead flowers and a rubber rat.
A few meters behind, there’s a cardboard door to a cardboard house. Crumpled butcher paper strung high to the empty warehouse ceiling simulate fog and fire, while a smoke machine pumps an acrid version of the former.
A moment later, the door opens and the real estate agent comes out, and now comes the moment I tell you this isn’t your typical haunted house.
This isn’t your typical haunted house. …
Read more of Paul Dailing’s writeup from the dress rehearsal of A Memory Palace of Fear here, at 1001 Chicago Afternoons.
And Alexandria Johnson follows up her preview for the Social Justice News Nexus with this in-depth report from inside the halls of horror.
Thanks to everyone who came out to see our 9th installment of Baudelaire In A Box at Links Hall, and to the extension at Stage 773. The cranky scroll is now packed away in storage, awaiting its brief swan song next summer as part of our grand finale extravaganza. The music still reverberates in our ears—look for a digital release of the songs from Unquenched in the coming year. Meanwhile, we are curating a Vimeo channel of videos from the show, as well as past episodes. Check it out!
This is a photo of the grave of Charles Baudelaire.
Those red smudges are—we can only surmise—from your own lipsticked lips, readers, as you try to manage your grief that Episode 9 of Baudelaire In A Box has come and gone. Well, you have moved our hearts. We are announcing an extension of 4 additional shows of Unquenched at Stage 773’s cabaret theater, Thursdays and Fridays 11/3 through 11/11.
The two Friday performances are late shows. May we recommend coming for the 7:30 early show latest presentation by our friends at BoyGirlBoyGirl ? Then, grab a drink at the bar while we set up the crankie, and join us for Unquenched at 10PM. Double Feature!
We’re grateful for the support of the Medill School of Journalism’s Social Justice News Nexus in helping to underwrite our Haunted House event this weekend. Given their interest in the project, it’s no surprise that they summarized the show better than we could ourselves! Read their excellent preview of A Memory Palace of Fearhere and be sure to click the link for tickets at the end. Memory Palace is a timed entry event—we will do our best to accommodate walk-ins, but your best chance at not having to wait for an open slot is to reserve your tour in advance. See you there!
The Chicago Readerhighlights the “lovely, sweet-minded kind of darkness” of Baudelaire In A Box, Episode 9:
“Between the black-and-white pictures and the musical influences ranging from country to klezmer, the overall tone here is moody; even Mickle Maher’s slangy, comic treatment of “L’Avertisseur” (about the nasty yellow snake living in every man’s heart) can’t quite shake off the darkness. But it’s a lovely, sweet-minded kind of darkness, well expressed by the onstage septet.” –Chicago Reader, recommended
Just four more shows before we pack up the scrolls and start work on the last batch. Got your tickets yet?
We had a chance to sit down with Tony Sarabia of WBEZ’s Morning Shift to discuss and perform excerpts from the upcoming episode of Baudelaire In A Box (opening next Wednesday at Links Hall)
Oobleck Regulars Chris Schoen and Mickle Maher spoke with Tony about the history of the show, and the creation process, punctuated by performances by two songs from the show by Emmy Bean, Annie Higgins, Troy Martin, and Dave Smith. The whole segment is archived on the Morning Shift website. Have a listen! Then come see the whole shebang, crankies and all, at Links Hall, October 5-16.
Our next episode of Baudelaire In A Box, “Unquenched,” features new compositions from TEN composers, with contributions by Oobleck Regulars Jeff Dorchen, Chris Schoen, and Mickle Maher (who has written translations being set to music by Ronnie Kuller and Mark Messing. The list of composers is rounded out by Reid Coker (The Judy Green, Billy Blake and The Vagabonds), David Costanza (Art of Flying), Annie Higgins (Weatherman, Singing In The Abbey), Angela James, Abraham Levitan (Baby Teeth, Shame That Tune, Nerds On Tour), and Joey Spilberg (LamalJamal, Schtedoidish).
Panoramic scrolls conceived, illustrated, and operated by, as always, Oobleck co-founder Dave Buchen.
The show hits Links Hall in October. Tickets available later this month.
After three acclaimed runs in Chicago, Theater Oobleck presents the New York City premiere of Mickle Maher’s THERE IS A HAPPINESSTHATMORNING IS at The Tank, as part of their annual Flint & Tinder theater series. Featuring the original cast (yay!) and carpet (shudder).
The show runs September 11–27. TICKETSARENOW ON SALE.
After an excellent first week of shows, Song About Himself is back this week for the final five performances of its run at Theater on the Lake. These are what may be your last few chances to see this show. Come join us, won’t you?
THEATER-GOERS: If you’re finding buying tickets for Song About Himself online a chore due to byzantine rigmarole, to avoid the hassle call: 312.742.7994
Leave a message and someone will get back to you within 24 hours to confirm.
Or just show up at Berger park! TOTL sets aside a certain number of seats for walk-ups every night.
Our final Sunday performance, April 26, of Song About Himself will be a benefit for Chicago-based Literacy Works.
Literacy Works’ mission is to strengthen adult literacy, parent education, and workforce development programs by developing and providing innovative training and knowledge-sharing opportunities for professionals and volunteers.
50% of what you pay for your ticket will go to this fine organization. Advance tickets are still available.
The Chicago Trib’s Nina Metz gives Song About Himself three stars, saying:
Ultimately Maher is digging his finger around in that gaping hole of what it means to connect with another person — the wistful, persistent desire for it, and the technology that we’ve come to rely on to make so much of it possible.
Chicagoland’s ten-year-old theater-critic sensation (and actress in her own right) Ada Grey came to see Song About Himself and posted this thoughtful review.
People who would like this show are people who like poetry, lengthy posts, and clarinets. I think people should definitely go see this show. It is eye-opening and it will blow your mind. And I actually think that while I was writing the review I understood it even better than when I was watching it. So, I think it would be good if when you got home you could write down some ideas that you had about the show and you can think about those ideas for a little while.
Full disclosure: Ada Grey’s dad, John Henry Roberts, is an Oobleck Irregular, having appeared in The Golden Election by Marilyn Quayle and her Sister and Theater Oobleck and our staged reading of The Forbidden Bestsellers of Pre-Revolutionary France.