Thursday, October 31, 2013

Behind The Scenes Exclusive At Redmoon Theatre's Boneshaker & Skelebration 2013 #ChiILPicksList #theatre #OriginalPhotos

"Boneshaker is just like Skelebration only it's 21+ and there's booze and fire!" Frank Maugeri

ChiIL Mama was super stoked to be invited to a small press walk through during the build for this show, earlier in October.  

Check out our full set of shots in the slide show below & a recap of our favorites at the end of this feature.  Then get your tickets NOW before they sell out!   Boneshaker is this Friday, Nov 1 only.   Skelebration is 4 shows this Saturday and Sunday.   We'll have a full photo recap after, but there's nothing like being there!

Boneshaker and Skelebration make our ChiIL Picks List for must see events!

We've been huge fans of Redmoon's work since their humble Humboldt beginnings.   As much as we adore seeing their spectacles come to fruition, we also love to see the back story--the engineering that goes into their tag line "engineering wonder".   

We geek out on the process as much as the productions and want to bring you... our readers, along for the ride.   

Come take a sneak peek behind the curtain and see what the wizards at Redmoon have concocted.   When Producing Artistic Director, Frank Maugeri, led our tour, his enthusiasm was infectious.   

"Why Skelebration?  I wanted something for my kids to do that wasn't another pumpkin patch or hay ride... Here's an alternative Halloween experience." Frank Maugeri

Are you jazzed yet for Redmoon's annual Boneshaker extravaganza and their new fam friendly Skelebration the following day?!   These guys have moved to new digs in Pilsen and do they ever know how to throw a party.   

Come break in their new space right!   Boneshaker is truly the place to see and be seen.   Get one more go out of your Halloween costumes and come out to play in this stellar space.   Boneshaker 2013 is ONE night only, this Friday Nov 1st.

Chicago's taste makers will mingle with inner city musicians & artists with raw talent to spare.   A cast of 100+ costumed actors will facilitate your hands on experience.  

The past few years, Boneshaker was crazy crowded, a victim of it's own success.  Thankfully, Redmoon's space has expanded exponentially.  Their new home is 7 times the size of their old 7,000 sq foot space.   This year there's room to spread your wings!   Party goers can mingle freely, take time to explore, and enjoy both the large scale spectacle and the tiny suitcase style minutia that Redmoon is infamous for.

We asked Frank in particular, how Boneshaker compares with Redmoon's All Hallows Eve Ritual celebrations that used to be a free, highlight of Halloween, outdoors in Logan Square.   Frank said, "They were both interactive and both involve spectacle experience.   More importantly though, next year, October 4th we'll begin the Great Chicago Fire Festival, which is the amplification of what All Hallows was.   Really in depth, committed work, with community members in 15 neighborhoods, to create massive effigies that are placed on the river & then burned."   

This is an exciting shift in Redmoon's overarching plan.   They'll now have an annual series of reoccurring seasonal events, people can count on, more akin to a "season", like traditional theatre spaces.   And the new space ensures that Redmoon can do indoor works on a giant scale, like the 70' wide by 20' tall shadow puppet screen!

What's in store:
Wooden monkey masks with jaws that move when the actors speak! (modeled by Frank himself)

The infamous cabinet from The Cabinet of Dr. Caligari will be serving brews from inverted acrobats!

Worlds Collide: 
Mucca Pazza and Redmoon!!   Love it when our friends & favorites collaborate.

"spinning motorcycle thrill ride"   I got to try this one out and it's Great America FUN without the long lines!   There's also an element of danger since there's no seat belt or locking bar on this ride. 

All Ages Fun at Skelebration:

Costumed frivolity and merriment doesn’t end with Halloween.  Right after All Hallow’s Eve, November 1-3, Redmoon opens the doors of its cavernous new Pilsen home for a weekend of festivity and interactive art & Spectacle where Chicagoans can let their imaginations run wild.

Friday, November 1, Redmoon presents Boneshaker, a 21-and-up evening of revelry, music, dancing, food and drink, all on an epic scale.  So everyone can cut loose responsibly, Redmoon has arranged free shuttle service from downtown to Boneshaker via Chicago Classic Coach.

The next days, Saturday and Sunday, November 2-3, Redmoon presents the family-friendly Skelebration, a new event for parents and children to explore, discover and connect with their community.

Chicago’s Spectacle Experts Open New “INDOORS” Season with
BONESHAKER, November 1 (21+)
and SKELEBRATION, November 2 & 3 (Family-friendly)

Indoor Roller Skating Rink, Signature “Fire Organ” and Mobile DJs all part of the fun!

At Redmoon’s new Pilsen home, 2120 S. Jefferson St.

Chicago’s acclaimed Spectacle company Redmoon kicks off its new “Redmoon INDOORS” Spectacle Series this November with two multimedia events celebrating the ritual of Halloween in fresh, alternative ways, both under the leadership of Producing Artistic Director Frank Maugeri and the event direction of Artistic Associate Will Bishop.  

On Friday, November 1 (All Saints Day), the 3rdannual Boneshaker returns for a 21-and-over night of costumed fun that combines interactive site-specific design and unique contraptions with hours of unexpected entertainment. Immediately following Boneshaker,Saturday and Sunday, November 2-3, Redmoon opens its mammoth 57,000-square-foot Pilsen headquarters for Skelebration, a new event for parents and children to celebrate the fall season and adventure together in Redmoon’s exploratory Spectacle playground.  Both Boneshaker and Skelebration take place in Redmoon’s home at 2120 S. Jefferson Street.

“At Redmoon, we’re opening our ‘INDOORS’ season with something for everyone.  First, a 21-and-over happening that Chicagoans have begun to look forward to each year, and then something for families,” said Maugeri.  “Boneshaker is a contemporary, wild, outrageous experience for the 21st-century adventurer.  We will wholly transform our new home into an immersive, interactive Spectacle universe.  Skelebration is a similar event but altered for kids of all ages.  As the father of seven-year-old twins, I wanted a sophisticated, unusual, exploratory event that would absolutely amaze kids and be a ton of fun for parents, too.  That’s what we’re creating here: an event full of eclectic hands-on activities and Spectacle wonder that will be unforgettable for both its sheer scale and imagination.” 

Friday, November 1, 2013
9:00 p.m. – 2:00 a.m.

Boneshaker is coordinated and produced by the Youth Engineering Spectacle (Y.E.S.) Committee, Redmoon’s young professionals board.  It’s an interactive night of revelry, music, dancing, food and drink, all on an epic scale.  Among the many offerings of this festive world of Spectacle are:

·        **Performances by the 30-person punk rock marching band Mucca Pazza
·        A chance to be in a two-minute, live-feed movie, complete with director, actors and green screen elements, projected upon a giant screen for all guests to view
·        An interactive, underwater-themed shadow world
·        An indoor roller skate rink – roller skates provided – complete with a roller skating bear
·        The “Breakin’ the Law” motorcycle carousel
·        An indoor swing park
·        Beat-box artist Jam One
·        Several mobile DJ contraptions, including Redmoon’s massive “Sonic Boom” mobile device capable of 12,000 watts of sound
·        Outdoor performances by a Redmoon signature, the “Fire Organ,” a dual forklift with 12 organ pipes which shoot bursts of fire synchronized with music
·        Various food and drink contraptions, including the “Kegway,” a new Redmoon invention which combines a Segway with tap service, plus classic Redmoon service devices: “Wine Bikes,” “The Teapot Libation Machine” and more 

·        An opportunity to roast hot dogs outdoors on Redmoon’s massive “Fire Candelabras”
·        Additional food and beverages provided by Bacci Pizza, Skinny Pop, NYC Bagel Deli, Cabot Creamery Cooperative, Lagunitas Brewing Company and Pabst Blue Ribbon

Free shuttle service during Boneshaker is provided by Chicago Classic Coach, running from 10 p.m. onward between Redmoon and 77 W. Wacker Drive downtown.

Tickets to Boneshaker are on sale now and are priced at $75, which include food and drinks throughout the evening.  Boneshaker is a 21+ event.  Tickets are available by calling the Redmoon Box Office at 312-850-8440 x123 or online at  Special group rates are available.

Saturday and Sunday, November 2-3, 2013
Times:  11:00 a.m. – 1:00 p.m.
2:00 p.m. – 4:00 p.m.
5:00 p.m. – 7:00 p.m.

The Saturday and Sunday following Boneshaker, Redmoon presents Skelebration, a brand new family-friendly event for parents and children to explore, discover and connect with their community.  For two-hour blocks, families have a chance to:
·        Build shadow puppets and perform in Redmoon’s giant shadow world shows
·        Build masks to wear in a parade alongside Redmoon performers and massive mobile DJ devices
·        Play in Redmoon’s indoor park of swings and roller skates – roller skates provided
·        Bicycle around the space – bicycles provided or families may bring their own
·        Watch Laika’s Coffin, a four-person puppet opera created by Maugeri and directed by Alex Balestrieri, Redmoon Director of Events
·        Enjoy folk and rock music by various family acts and musical schools from across the city
·        Enjoy snacks provided by Whole Foods Market and Cabot Creamery Cooperative

Tickets for Skelebration are on sale now and are priced at $20 for adults, $12 for kids age 3+ and free for kids under 3.  Skelebration is for all ages.  Tickets include two-hour entrance, food and activities.  Tickets are available by calling the Redmoon Box Office at 312-850-8440 x123 or online at

About Redmoon
Redmoon's mission is to transform the experience of our city through free large-scale theatrical events that promote community, creativity and an empowered democracy.  Redmoon burst into Chicago’s cultural consciousness with its award-winning production of Moby Dick in 1995. Commended for its unique aesthetic, the production boasted a unique blend of puppetry, pageantry, gadgetry and robust physical performance that became Redmoon’s signature.  While the indoor productions continued to receive critical acclaim and popular support, Executive Artistic Director Jim Lasko chose to focus the theater’s energy outdoors, where Redmoon sought to deploy spectacle to bridge difference and transform the ways that people see and understand public spaces.  Over the past 23 years, Redmoon has become a valued Chicago institution with its high-profile collaborations, vibrant outdoor performances and genuine community partnerships.  Site-specific performances opened in Millennium Park, animated the façade of the Museum of Contemporary Art and commemorated the groundbreaking for the Modern Wing for the Art Institute.  At the same time, Redmoon brought its work to the parks and streets of Chicago’s neighborhoods.  Redmoon has performed for more than 250,000 people in 30 different neighborhoods.  In 2009, Lasko joined forces with longtime collaborator Frank Maugeri to co-lead Redmoon as it garnered international attention for its unique productions, site-specific performances and participatory events.  Most recently, this included Redmoon’s Summer Park Series – a Mayor’s Night Out in the Parks event.  Under the design and directorial leadership of Maugeri and Artistic Associate Will Bishop, the series brought community celebrations to a lineup of 10 public parks on the South and West Sides of the city.  From July through September, Redmoon and its team of collaborators – Young Chicago Authors and The Bucket Boys – presented free drum and poetry workshops, community meals and open performances to more than 10,000 community members.

Winter Pageant
Directed by John Musial with Frank Maugeri
Dec 13 – 15, Dec 20 – 22, 2013
Times: Fridays – 7 p.m.
Saturdays – 4 p.m. & 7 p.m.
Sundays – 1:30 p.m. & 4 p.m.

In December, the 15th Annual Winter Pageant features collaborators Kalapriya Center for Indian Performing Arts and punk rock surf band San Andreas Fault.  The approximately 50-minute-long production is directed by John Musial with Frank Maugeri.  The 2013 Winter Pageant presents a new original myth inspired by the poem “The Conference of the Birds” by Farid ud-Din Atta and tells the story of a flock of birds who journey to find their lost king.  The production evokes themes of hope and community.  Audiences at this nontraditional family production can expect Redmoon’s intricate mechanics, inventive puppetry, expressive dance and unique style of visual wonder.

On the Saturdays leading up to Winter Pageant, November 9 – December 7, Redmoon will open its doors for Open Access Builds, where community members of all ages can help Redmoon artists create art and objects for the Winter Pageant production.

Winter Pageant tickets: Adults $25, Kids $15, Kids under 3 FREE

For more information on Redmoon and its programs, visit

More of ChiIL Mama's Favorites:

Win 6 FREE Tickets To The Only Traveling Shark Show in the US -- World Pet Association’s Inaugural Aquatic Experience November 15-17, 2013

Something's fishy at the Renaissance Schaumburg Convention Center...  

ChiIL out with ChiIL Mama, live sharks, & Nat Geo's Zeb Hogan at The Aquatic Experience, Chicago!   Enter below for your chance to win a FREE family pass, good for up to 6 tickets.  We’re pleased to announce the only traveling shark show in the US is coming to Chicago for the World Pet Association’s inaugural Aquatic Experience – Chicago from Nov. 15-17, 2013

Haai Inc’s Live Shark Encounter will be among the unique exhibits on view at the show, the first in industry history to combine everything aquatic under one roof—from saltwater to freshwater with pond and aquatic animals.

Philip Peters interacts with a shark during Haai, Inc’s "Live Shark Encounter,"

We have a 30 gallon community tank with lots of small, fresh water sharks and a beta bowl in our home, and can't wait to check out the show.   

Free Aquariums for kids!
Kid’s Aquarium Contest is a captivating learning program designed to teach children about the environment, stimulate their minds, ignite their creativity and warm their hearts through the rewards of pet care. Children from the ages 5 to 16 are encouraged to join the competition. 

Aquariums will be lined up spotlighting the children’s creations. Every contestant is rewarded in many ways – ribbons are given to all the children, each tank creation is theirs to keep and the pride of being an active citizen in community events will reward them for a lifetime. Sign up now to participate! 

ChiIL Mama's got 6 free tickets for a lucky reader.  
Enter here through midnight Nov 9th.  Click the link below.

Consumers, retailers and families can hear from National Geographic’s Monster Fish host Zeb Hogan and other speakers, take part in educational seminars, enter a Kid’s Aquarium Contest and enjoy a show floor filled with vibrant displays of exotic fish from around the world, product raffles, hobbyists and equipment experts.

National Geographic's "Monster Fish" host Zeb Hogan is the keynote speaker for the World Pet Association's inaugural Aquatic Experience - Chicago. Image courtesy of Zeb Hogan, taken at Mongolia's Upper Uur River.

The World Pet Association (WPA) announced that the only traveling shark show in the country, Haai Inc’s Live Shark Encounter, will be among the unique exhibits on view at its inaugural Aquatic Experience – Chicago show, Nov. 15-17, 2013. Attendees will get to see sharks up close as a diver provides entertaining and educational information before entering a specially designed 5,000-gallon tank to swim and interact with these awe-inspiring animals. Additionally, a Great White Shark Museum on site will provide more details and artifacts on display, including a replica of the Carcharodon Megalodon Jaws (an ancient meat-eating 60-foot shark).

Philip Peters interacts with a shark during Haai, Inc’s "Live Shark Encounter," which is among the exhibits at the World Pet Association's inaugural Aquatic Experience - Chicago, November 15-17, 2013. Image courtesy of Haai, Inc.

Aquatic Experience – Chicago is the first show in industry history to combine everything aquatic under one roof—from saltwater and freshwater fish and pond. Consumers, retailers and families can hear from National Geographic’s Monster Fish host Zeb Hogan and other high-power speakers, take part in educational seminars, enter a Kid’s Aquarium Contest and enjoy a show floor filled with vibrant displays of exotic fish and product raffles, hobbyists and equipment experts alongside the industry’s best and trend-setting manufacturers. In addition to Hogan, many experts in the field will be available on-site at to meet in person and share their enthusiasm for the underwater world. 

Discus fish. Image courtesy of the World Pet Association.

Tickets are on sale now for Aquatic Experience – Chicago at the Renaissance Schaumburg Convention Center (1551 N. Thoreau Drive, Schaumburg, IL) with daily individual tickets starting at just $10 and daily family passes for $25. Tickets to the Saturday dinner with keynote speaker Zeb Hogan are $60. For more information and to purchase tickets, please visit

The World Pet Association (WPA) is the oldest industry organization promoting responsible growth and development of the companion pet and related products and services. WPA works to inform and educate the general public in order to ensure safe and healthy lifestyles for our animal friends. WPA is the host of America’s Family Pet Expo, the world’s largest consumer pet and pet products expo, held annually in Costa Mesa, California. The organization also produces SuperZoo, an annual pet industry trade show that showcases a comprehensive collection of exhibits and offers a variety of informative educational seminars. For more information, please visit

Pre-Halloween 2013 #Halloween #PumpkinCarving

It's raining and we're still in the midst of jerry-rigging a narwhal for the boy out of a huge dog toy lizard tail, a knit skull cap, thread, wire, hot glue & a grey thrift dress.   Aaaaand we've got to find yellow grease paint for Miss Sage's Pansage face.   We've got the green makeup, & her costume's complete, so we're more than half way there.

Gotta catch 'em all... Pansage/Sage

Oh yeah, we're all going as the walking wounded too.   Sage landed full force on her right knee out of a flip in team practice and has been on crutches all week.   Fun fun... trick or treating with crutches in a downpour.   Dug's back got twingey this morning, cleaning up pumpkin guts & cardboard.   My left knee has been swollen & painful for some unknown reason, and Dugan fell and wrenched his left shoulder.   Oh joy.

At least our pumpkins look pretty sweet!
And as you can see, we had a fun family time carving 'em up.   We love the creativity Halloween inspires and we're all about DIY.   

The kids are big fans of Disney's animated series, Gravity Falls, so the last 2 years they've carved watermelons (ala Summerween from the show) in addition to pumpkins.   This year Sagezilla (who can be very Mabel at times) made hers a "puking pumpkin" with excellent use of the watermelon guts.   


I've carved a zillion pumpkins over the years and even won a contest as a kid, with my Christmas caroler pumpkin (complete with ear muffs!)   This year I made a first attempt at skinning the veggie and designing with the inner layer.   Here's my creation.  Go Blackhawks!