Baudelaire in a Box, Episode #6: Elevation (in Chicago)
After a successful October weekend at Brooklyn’s Jalopy Theater, brought the latest installment of Baudelaire in a Box to Chicago.
Baudelaire in a Box, Episode 6: Elevation
March 5-8, 7pm, 2014
at the new Links Hall
3111 N. Western Avenue
$15 advance tix available on-line. “More if you’ve got it, free if you’re broke” tickets at the door.
Welcome to Oobleck’s19th-century movie house of ill-repute, Baudelaire in a Box, Episode #6: Elevation. Charles Baudelaire’s notorious poems are set to music and performed by Adelind Horan, Amalea Tshilds, Kate Douglas, and Nora O’Connor (performing compositions by Amy Warren), as yards and yards of Dave Buchen’s beautiful and witty paintings scroll by as an interactive backdrop.
They are joined by Jim Becker (Iron & Wine, Califone, Paulina Hollers) on mandolin & violin and Ted Day on cello.
Dubbed “an act of extravagant artistic idiosyncrasy” by the Chicago Reader, Baudelaire in a Box is a serial cantastoria project based on the work of Charles Baudelaire. Over the course of seven years (culminating in 2017, the sesquicentennial of Baudelaire’s death), the project will adapt each poem from Fleurs du mal as a unique cantastoria, pairing each musical adapation with “crankies” designed and illustrated by Dave Buchen. Over 30 poems have already been adapted and performed in Illinois, New York, Connecticut, North Carolina, Puerto Rico, and Wisconsin, by a growing group of musical collaborators.
It is a project so ambitious, so immense, that it cannot be contained on a single web page. And so:
Dave is blogging about the process here, at the Baudelaire in a Box Blog.
A video explanation of the cantastoria art form is presented by our colleague Clare Dolan here.
And learn more about Baudelaire’s Les Fleurs du Mal here.
Photo by Kristin Basta.
Adelind is a Brooklyn-based actor/musician. She’s been touring her verbatim one-woman show about mountaintop removal in Appalachia for the past couple years (Best Documentary Play, United Solo Festival 2012) and will be performing it again on November 18th at Theatre Row! Shakespeare, improv, comedy shorts, and short films are her ongoing creative endeavors. She’ll be shooting her first feature film this summer and will also be appearing in Equus this winter at the Gallery
Players. Her website is here.
Amalea Tshilds studied painting at Bard College before turning to music, performing on guitar and voice with such acts as the Paulina Hollers. Her first solo recording, Broken Tiles, was released in 2006. Amalea is also the owner of award-winning restaurants Lula Cafe and Nightwood and the mother of two small, dazzling children. She lives in Logan Square in Chicago.
Kate Douglas is a NYC-based composer, writer and performer. She has sung with artists such as Todd Almond and Lisa Sokolov, and her compositions have been featured at the New York Musical Theatre Festival as part of a concert of work by new composers. Her concert piece The Imaginary Menagerie has headlined at Joe’s Pub and is currently in residence at The Manderley Bar at The McKittrick Hotel. The next chapter of The Imaginary Menagerie, The Death of Katherine Hayes, was performed this summer at Ars Nova’s ANT Festival. Her first record, The Blue House EP, is due to be released later this year. Her website is here.
Amy Warren is an actress, singer and erstwhile songwriter, very happy to be working with Dave Buchen and the wonderful folks of Theater Oobleck again! Member of former Chicago band Tallulah, recordings with The Aluminum Group and
Cooler by the Lake, she has written music for LATE at the Piven, Paris by Night at Trinity Rep and PULP which won the 2004 Jeff Award for Best Original Music.
Nora O’ Connor
Nora is a Chicago-based musician whose vocal talents are the secret weapon behind some of the city’s best performances and recordings. For much of 2013, O’Connor toured internationally as a singer in Iron and Wine, and she continues to record and perform with longtime collaborator, Andrew Bird. O’Connor also plays bass and sings back-up for Kelly Hogan (supporting Hogan’s release I Like To Keep Myself In Pain on ANTI- Records) and in 2010, Wilco’s Jeff Tweedy enlisted O’Connor and Hogan as primary vocalists on gospel legend Mavis Staples’ Grammy Award-winning album You Are Not Alone. In the studio and on the stage, O’Connor has backed (among others) Neko Case, Jakob Dylan, The New Pornographers, Archer Prewitt, Justin Roberts and Robbie Fulks. Though she may be primarily known for her signature honey-sweet vocals, O’Connor is also revered among her musician peers for her chops and versatility. She’s a solid sender on guitar and bass, an enthusiastic and inspired collaborator, and always ninja-nimble and professional to a T — just a few of the reasons why this lady’s phone never stops ringing.
Dave Buchen is a founding member of Theater Oobleck, for whom he has written fifteen plays, including “Spukt” and “The Passion of the Bush.” His Oobleck play “Innocence and Other Vices” was published last year by Hope and Nonthings. He has acted in dozens of Oobleck plays.
He is also a graphic artist, and is currently creating cantastorias
(scrolling images) for all the poems in Charles Baudelaire’s “Les Fleurs du Mal.” This multi-year Oobleck project — called “Baudelaire in a Box” — has already produced six full “episodes” with musical collaborators from Chicago, New York, Los Angeles, North Carolina, and Puerto Rico.
He has also designed and written several books for adults and children, some hand-printed, and some published traditionally. The spanish-language version of his book “Why is a Tiger a Tiger? A Bestiary of Etymology” will be released this year.
Dave is also co-curator of Banners and Cranks (also known as The Singing Picture Show) a yearly festival of cantastoria that he has organized in Chicago, New York, and Puerto Rico.
Dave has lived in Puerto Rico since 1999. There he has organized several festivals and collaborated with numerous local artists and groups, including El Circo Nacional de Puerto Rico. In 2012, he formed a circus band for them, for which he plays the clarinet. In 2013, they collaborated on a show based on a folktale by Italo Calvino.