Redmoon’s ‘Skelebration’ a hands-on celebration
By Mary Houlihan For Sun-Times Media October 31, 2013 1:33PM
Families can bring their children to Redmoon’s “Skelebration” warehouse spectacular on Nov. 2-3. | Redmoon/Al Sayed photo
♦ 11 a.m., 2 and 5 p.m. Nov. 2-3 at Redmoon, 2120 S. Jefferson St., Chicago
♦ Tickets, $20 for adults, $12 for ages 3 and older or free for ages younger than 3
♦ (312) 850-8440,
Ext. 123; redmoon.org
Updated: December 2, 2013 11:18AM
Halloween is celebrated in grand style at Redmoon with “Skelebration,” a family-friendly event that is the first show in the company’s inaugural indoor season in its massive new home in Chicago’s East Pilsen area.
“ ‘Skelebration’ is a big, weird museum inspired by the future and the past,” artistic director Frank Maugeri says. “And it’s all intended to be a hands-on experience for everyone.”
Maugeri talks with the wide-eyed enthusiasm of a child as he gives a tour of the 57,000-square-foot facility and explains the ways Redmoon plans to entertain children of all ages.
“If you’re are bored with this, you’re from another planet,” Maugeri says laughing.
“Skelebration” is a wacky children’s wonderland that only Redmoon could first, imagine and second, bring to reality. It began when Maugeri, the father of 7-year-old twins, wondered how Redmoon’s annual Halloween adult event, “Boneshaker” (more about this later), could be reimagined for children. Immediately, he knew it “wouldn’t be hayrides or pumpkin carving.”
Instead, children can take part in skull races (remote-controlled skulls on a racetrack) or try a slingshot device that lobs objects at a man outfitted in armor. At one of the creation stations, young artists can make mermaid or shark shadow puppets and perform behind three large screens in the “underwater” shadow sea where a Javanese-style puppet — a 12-foot-long sea monster — resides.
Puppet shows, a roller-skating rink, a motorcycle carousel, a swing park, mask-making stations, bicycles, music (bands and disc jockeys) and much more fill out the event.
“There’s a little bit of danger and risk and a lot of adventure but realized in a safe and confident way,” Maugeri says. “It’s something kids (and adults) won’t forget.”
HALLOWEEN FOR ADULTS: At 9 p.m. Nov. 1, Redmoon kicks off the indoor spectacle season with “Boneshaker” for ages 21 and older. “We add fire and booze to this one,” Maugeri says with a laugh. Many of the same children’s events will be there plus punk rock marching band Mucca Pazza, beatbox artist Jam One and outdoor performances by the Fire Organ, a dual forklift with 12 organ pipes, which shoot bursts of fire synchronized with music. Tickets are $75 including food and drinks. Free shuttle service begins at 10 p.m. between Redmoon and 77 W. Wacker Drive, Chicago.
Mary Houlihan is a local freelance writer.