Official Video for "The Drag"

posted 05/16/2017

We sometimes talk about crankies being a kind of low-tech proto music video. And that’s true! But sadly you can’t share them very easily on social media. So, please to enjoy this newfangled Official Music Video from our latest Baudelaire In Box album, Unquenched, available now at our Bandcamp site!

The Drag (Official Music Video)

From Unquenched: Music From Baudelaire In A Box Episode 9
Available at:

“The Drag” was composed by Ronnie Kuller, setting Mickle Maher’s translation of “L’avertisseur,” by Charles Baudelaire.

Videography by Cat Jarboe.

Snake images used with kind permission of Joseph Farah. See more of his beautiful reptile and amphibian photos at:

Original Baudelaire artwork available to donors

posted 04/22/2017

One of several gorgeous scroll segments you can claim as a reward at the $200 level (first-come/first-served).

See more pieces available at the $100, $200, and $400 donation levels.

Visit the kickstarter for Closed Casket here.

Help us fund Closed Casket

posted 04/21/2017

To celebrate the 150th anniversary of the death of the great poet Charles Baudelaire, Oobleck is bringing 50 performers, composers, & musicians together from all over the world for a gigantic festival of song & image. But we need your help!

KICKSTARTER for CLOSED CASKET: The Complete, Final And Absolutely Last Baudelaire In A Box

Ingenious, eccentric, and quietly devastating

posted 01/27/2017

Writing for the Chicago Reader, Tony Adler says “Jim Lehrer and the Theater …” is “hilarious” AND “terrifying,” that Colm O’Reilly and Brian Shaw are “two extraordinary actors,” and that Mickle Maher “is as good a playwright as any working in America today.”

Read the full review here: What Does Chicago Playright Mickle Maher Got Against Jim Lehrer?

Meanwhile, at New City, Alex Hunstberger says the play is “an odd, hilarious, and ominous tumble down the rabbit hole.”

Read his review here: Double Double Jims In Trouble

More on A Memory Palace of Fear

posted 11/22/2016

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.

Back in the Box

posted 11/13/2016

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!

Unquenched Requenches!

posted 10/26/2016

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!

Read all about Unquenched here

Buy tickets HERE
Tell your friends!
Four shows only!

Memory Palace Preview By Social Justice News Nexus

posted 10/26/2016


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 Fear here 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!

"Unquenched" is Reader-Recommended!

posted 10/12/2016

The Chicago Reader highlights 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?

Unquenched on WBEZ's "Morning Shift"

posted 09/29/2016


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.

Baudelaire Episode 9 Cometh

posted 07/10/2016

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.

Oobleck artists featured in Chicago Arts Journal Fall 2015

posted 11/25/2015


The sneakily subterranean Chicago Arts Journal’s fall edition contains an excerpt from Feng-shui Love Spells by Jeff Dorchen, as well as an interview with our own Diana Slickman!


Happiness in NYC wraps

posted 09/30/2015


Closing night, September 27, 2015 at The Tank NYC.
Thanks to everyone who came out to the New York shows.
Thanks to Jessica Sherman-Prince for the photo.

King of Rain album now available!

posted 09/25/2015

Music gorgeous, mordant, wry and sardonic!

Happiness in New York trailer

posted 09/25/2015


Happiness in New York! from Theater Oobleck on Vimeo.

Get tickets to There A Happiness That Morning Is in New York

Chicago performance to benefit Happiness in New York City

posted 08/05/2015

Tickets are now on sale for the one-night-only Chicago performance of There Is A Happiness That Morning Is to benefit the New York City run.

Friday, AUGUST 28 at 7pm at The Neo-Futurarium in Chicago.

Friday, AUGUST 28 at 7pm
The Neo-Futurarium
5153 N. Ashland Ave Chicago, IL 60640

Happiness is coming to New York City!

posted 07/30/2015

After three acclaimed runs in Chicago, Theater Oobleck presents the New York City premiere of Mickle Maher’s THERE IS A HAPPINESS THAT MORNING 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. TICKETS ARE NOW ON SALE.

Song About Himself at TOTL week 2 starts today

posted 07/15/2015

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?

Photo by Jerry Schulman

SONG tickets

posted 07/10/2015

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.

Song About Himself Trailer is here

posted 06/30/2015

Check out Danny Thompson’s new trailer for Song About Himself.