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The once in a lifetime performance of 130+ original songs and paintings based on Les Fleurs du mal by Charles Baudelaire.
The once in a lifetime performance of 130+ original songs and paintings based on Les Fleurs du mal by Charles Baudelaire.
223 backers pledged $16,600 to help bring this project to life.

About this project

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This August, Theater Oobleck will wrap up our seven-year-long Baudelaire in a Box project, which turns the poems from Charles Baudelaire's Les Fleurs du mal into original songs and paintings, with a weekend festival of performances in Chicago.

Closed Casket: The Complete, Final, and Absolutely Last Baudelaire in a Box will bring some 50 performers from Chicago, New York, North Carolina, Puerto Rico, Argentina, and Los Angeles together for the first and last time ever on August 4, 5, and 6 at Links Hall at Constellation. 

The 15 hours of music that ensue will include episodes never seen before in Chicago, a day-long marathon of every show we’ve done to date, and one new episode, Episode X, featuring 32 new songs by 32 different composers. By the end, we will have performed every one of the 130+ poems that we have created as part of one extravagant, weekend-long musical, theatrical, and artistic event.

Curated by Dave Buchen and Chris Schoen, this one-time only festival is the largest project Oobleck has ever undertaken in terms of personnel. Twenty-five performers need to be flown to Chicago, housed, and fed. All 50 performers need to be paid for their work. We need to build the cranky structures to house the artwork that illustrates the 130+ poems. Plus! We have commissioned 30 composers to write and perform still more new songs. We are creating 30 new paintings. It is a grandiose gathering to celebrate the 150th anniversary of Baudelaire's death — the wake that his troubled soul has longed for.

All this takes money. Your donation will go directly to pay performers, to buy the paper and paint and lumber, to pay our lighting designer and sound technicians, and to transport, house, and feed our out-of-town performers.

The composers, translators, and performers include: Nora Barton, Martha Bayne, Emmy Bean, Javier Carballido, Roberto Cofresi, Reid Coker, Bobby Conn, Jim Cooper, David Costanza, Jeff Dorchen, Kate Douglas, Curtis Eller, Christian Galán, Annie Higgins, Adelind Horan, Billie Howard, Andrea Jablonski, Angela James, Whitney Johnson, Theo Katsouanis, Lloyd Brodnax King, Diane Koistinen, Jeff Kowalkowski, Ronnie Kuller, J Kutchma, Abraham Levitan, Nathan Logan, Mickle Maher, Katira Maria, T-Roy Martin, Efraín Martínez, Mark Messing, Colm O'Reilly, Bati Paz, Julie Pomerleau, Maximiliano Rivas, Cheryl Rivera, Lizbeth Román, Chris Schoen, Diana Slickman, Brad Smith, David E. Smith, Joey Spilberg, Killian Sweeney, John Szymanski, Amalea Tshilds, Amy Warren, and Azita Youssefi.

All crankies designed, illustrated, and performed by Dave Buchen. Galleries of the original Baudelaire art for sale here can be found on the Theater Oobleck website here: $100 pieces (smaller), $200 pieces (larger), $400 pieces (paintings on fabric).

BUNDLING YOUR REWARDS: If you want to combine rewards, let's say a festival pass AND a set of all the postcards, you can make a donation in the choose your own level category and simply add up the amounts from what you'd like. For that festival pass and 10 postcards, you'd contribute $105. Then send us a message on here telling us what rewards you'd like.

Risks and challenges

We have been producing episodes of Baudelaire in a Box for seven years now, and we know how to do it -- one at a time. But never before have we brought together so many people to perform at one time. As a humble theater, we will be putting in time and sweat from now through the final note of the final song.

With more than 50 participating artists, the logistics of this are daunting. We have a team of wizards expert in making theater -- and spare futons -- appear out of thin air, using little to no money, working on preliminary production already. Your support will go a long way toward allowing them to focus on the art, rather than the catering.

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  1. Select this reward

    Pledge $15 or more About $15

    Set of 5 Postcards

    Choose from two different sets of 5 postcards featuring Dave Buchen's original art for the first nine episodes. Plus a thank you in the program!

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    Pledge $15 or more About $15

    Downloads of the Music

    Digital downloads of your choice of two of the following four albums: The King of Rain, Unquenched, Heaven or Hell, or Bad Luck. Plus a thank you in the program!

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    Pledge $25 or more About $25

    Tote Bag

    It's not just for public radio anymore! A canvas tote bag with our series image, to tote your groceries or your opium kit. You can see the image in the updates. Plus a thank you in the program!

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    Pledge $25 or more About $25

    Coffee Mug

    The drinking woman from our festival poster is also on this mug, which could be used for your morning absinthe. See the image in the updates. Plus a thank you in the program!

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    Poster Collection

    Digital prints of 4 of the original lino-print posters for various episodes of Baudelaire in a Box. Plus a thank you in the program!

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    Pledge $30 or more About $30

    Both sets of postcards

    All ten of the postcards from the scrolly art. Plus a thank you in the program!

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    Pledge $50 or more About $50

    Hand Printed Poster

    Choose from either the Closed Casket or Unquenched posters, hand printed, hand painted, and signed by Dave Buchen. Plus a thank you in the program!

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    Pledge $50 or more About $50

    CD's of Baudelaire Music

    Get the cd's of King of Rain and Heaven or Hell plus download music from Unquenched and Bad Luck. Plus a thank you in the program!

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    Pledge $75 or more About $75

    Festival Pass

    This pass gets you into all of the shows Friday, Saturday, and Sunday. That's 15 shows total, plus lunch and dinner for the Saturday marathon -- and $10 less than if you bought the tickets individually. Available only via Kickstarter. Plus a thank you in the program!

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    Pledge $100 or more About $100

    Original Baudelaire in a Box Art

    Choose from the original art that you can see at the Theater Oobleck website (link in project description). Send us a message with your choice and we'll reserve it for you. These paintings and drawings are on paper and measure from 12" - 24" in width. Confirm your choice when you make your donation. Signed by Dave Buchen. Plus a thank you in the program!

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    Pledge $100 or more About $100

    Loaded Tote Bag

    The tote bag filled with the coffee mug, all ten postcards, and the set of digital posters.

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    Pledge $200 or more About $200

    Original Baudelaire in a Box Art (large)

    Choose from the original art that you can see at the Theater Oobleck website (link in project description). These paintings and drawings are on paper and measure 36" in width. Confirm your choice when you make your donation. Signed by Dave Buchen. Plus a thank you in the program!

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    Pledge $400 or more About $400

    Original Banner Paintings

    These paintings are on fabric and measure @4'x4'. Choose from the original art that you can see at the Theater Oobleck website (link in project description). Send us a message with your choice and we'll reserve it for you. Confirm your choice when you make your donation. Signed by Dave Buchen. Plus a thank you in the program!

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    Pledge $800 or more About $800

    Oobleck Sings for Supper

    Dinner and live music for you and 7 friends includes a delicious meal home cooked, a bottle of something nice, and a live performance in your preferred location. Only in the greater Chicago area. Plus a thank you in the program!

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    Pledge $1,000 or more About $1,000

    Original Commissioned Art

    Commission a painting by Dave Buchen. A scroll? A banner? A puppy? A destitute poet in an opium den? Your choice! Plus a thank you in the program!

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Funding period

- (30 days)