Surprise! Death is Not the End: An Evening of Puppetry, Song, and Celebration
What was it?
It was a birthday party for everybody. THAT MEANT YOU.
It was a funeral for deceased dogs, cowboys, and our innocence. It was a baptism for nostalgia and therapy for isolation, and it was emceed by death itself.
FOUR unforgettable sold out evenings featuring virtuosic performers, tear-jerking melodies, bizarre characters, tap dancing, and indelible images; audiences can expect serenading, birthday cards, ice cream and unexpected surprises.
the event Featured the world premieres of:
The Death and Life of Billy the Kid
Written by Seth Bockley, music by Liz Chidester, directed by Frank Maugeri
Behold, Where Stands the Usurper's Cursed Head
Written by Mickle Maher, directed by Vanessa Stalling and Frank Maugeri
And the triumphant return of:
Written by Seth Bockley, music by Kevin O'Donnell, directed by Frank Maugeri
The Deep Dark, created by Laura Heit
Projected by Evan Barr, with original live music by Angela James and Annie Higgins
Artistic collaborators and performers included:
Liz Chidester, Lindsey Noel Whiting, Nicole Laurenzi, Samuel Taylor, Andrew Yearick, Cynthia Castiglione, Danielle Nicholas, Mike Oleon, Andy Sjostrom, Greg Hardigan, Kasey Foster, Dexter Ellis, and Time Brickey
Puppet and object design by:
Kass Copeland, Andres Lemus-Spont, Mike Coon, Coco Ree Lemery, Tom Robinson, Jesse Mooney-Bullock, Jackie Valdez, Evan Barr and Ellie Terrell
Design Consultant for University of Chicago Gaming Project - 2017
The University of Chicago employed Cabinet to support the design of the national’s largest interactive alternative reality game and to act as a consultant to professors.
“Frank Maugeri is precisely the kind of innovative curator that the University of Chicago treasures. Chicago Performance Lab continues to be grateful for his work nurturing artists and developing vision.” — Heidi Coleman, University of Chicago
Processional and educational workshop on the 606 - 2017
2017: The 606 hired us to complete their procession image for the annual block party held in June of 2017. Cabinet of Curiosity Events developed 300 individual engineering activities that resulted in unique illuminated parade hats.
“It was so beautiful to see people of all ages joyfully wearing their lighthouse hats. They truly did light up the trail as folks made their way home. Looking forward to working together again.” – Bonnie Tawse, 606 Community Outreach
It was a dream we got to dream in our full and wild wakefulness. Even (and most importantly) in the grand gestures of this vital fundraising event, inspired by Frank Maugeri’s historic Boneshaker party, Cabinet of Curiosity diligently maintained the glory of furious intimacy and unrelenting detail... as we believe, event can and should be a holy encounter. Through the creative direction of Cabinet, Illumination 2017 shined brighter than ever.
“Now Maugeri is getting back into the spectacle business... His new nonprofit, Cabinet of Curiosity Events, is designed to create original rites and ceremonies, both for clients who want, say, a new kind of bar mitzvah and to express his own aesthetic vision — not to mention his erce sense of the cosmic.” — Tony Adler, Chicago Reader
Walk with Light - 2017
In December 2017, Cabinet was commissioned to create original intimate installations that spread across the 606’s 3 mile trail. The installations included 7 meditative vignettes, 20 performers, a bubble apparatus, projected images, and many illuminated devices spread across the lengthy terrain. It was a sweet, soft, meditative, and hopeful gesture for thousands of Chicagoans who partook in this public art spectacle.
epic tale of scale - 2018
Frank designed a building-wide site-specific interactive experience made in partnership with Jo Cattell and The Goodman Theatre’s Henry Wishcamper.
“Collaborating with Maugeri, who created magical worlds at Redmoon and continues to do so with his project Cabinet of Curiosity Events, elevated my production to another level.” — Henry Wishcamper, The Goodman Theatre
ShortsTV, an Oscars pre-party - 2018
ShortsTV commissioned David Carlson to gather a collaborative team to design spectacle equipment for a pre Oscar ceremony celebrating the 2018 short films in the Animated, Live Action and Documentary Categories. Cabinet collaboratively created three mobile vehicles for honorees to process upon and adorned the red carpet with our mobile chandeliers.
“Frank and his team transformed ordinary bicycles into marvelous, celebrity-bearing mobile stages celebrating 15 OSCAR®-Nominated Filmmakers for our Hollywood pre-OSCAR event. Magni cent.” — Dave Carlson, Producer, Maestro Matic
NAvy Pier's Holi Celebration - 2018
Cabinet of Curiosity Events was honored to provide colorful and interactive devices and performances to Navy Pier's inaugural Holi celebration. Over 2500 guests celebrated with Cabinet's Incense Helmet Procession, Flower Necklace Delivery, Prayer Offering, and Bubble Parade. Cabinet importantly continued its tradition of collaborating with significant cultural institutions like Mandala Arts and the producing team of Navy Pier. The event included other performance guests like DJ Krush, Ishti, and Funkadesi.
“Frank and Cabinet are a very professional and detailed oriented group. They added engaging moments for our audience of all ages and helped elevate the overall experience of the event.” — Daniel Crane, Navy Pier Program Coordinator
Lightology rooftop celebration - 2018
Lightology Rooftop Gathering, in which we transformed their roof into a dynamic playground. Frank created an evening of splendor for the incredible team at Lightology, where he infected the roof top party with surprise and soul.
“Frank and his team were a pleasure to work with. They brought imaginative ideas to us that enhanced our event, amazed our guests, and created beautiful imagery for post-event promotion. I highly recommend Frank and team, and look forward to working with them again soon.” — Greg Kay, President, Lightology
shedd aquarium 2018 gala
Frank designed and produced the entrance and processional spectacles for The Shedd Aquarium’s 2018 Gala. He employed over 30 artists to create a fantastic and wild journey for the guests of the event. Masks, mechanical devices, a drum team, celebratory procession and more.
“Turning the vision for an event into a magical evening requires a well-balanced combination of creativity, collaboration, persistence, and fearlessness. Frank and his team at Cabinet of Curiosity Events achieved that magic for the guests atthe 2018 Shedd Gala. He understoodthe Shedd’s mission and made surethat we captured the essence of that mission in how we designed the evening. Frank is truly a rock star!” — Dixie Adams, IBM, Shedd Gala Chair, 2018
Navy Pier Fifth third bank pavilion grand opening - 2018
Frank designed and directed the Grand Opening of the Fifth Third Bank Pavilion at Navy Pier for the Chicago Children’s Theatre. He guided and deployed over 50 artists and performers to accomplish several hours of play and purpose. He partnered with Actors Gymnasium, Walkabout Theatre Company and The Happiness Club to create an unforgettable evening of ceremony, interactivity and wonder.
“Having completed a floor-to-ceiling renovation of Navy Pier’s historic Fifth Third Bank Family Pavilion, we were in need of creative and engaging performances that would utilize and highlight some of the structure’s new spaces and architectural details. For the Grand Opening Celebration, Executive Producer, Steve Abrams of Kicky Productions, brought in Frank Maugeri of Cabinet of Curiosity Events who transformed our central, grand staircase and Family Pavilion into a dynamic and interactive stage. Our guests were completely wowed by the surprise performances, and it was just what we needed to make a splash and build excitement for the iconic space.” - Andrea Chwee, Donor & Special Events Manager, Navy Pier
Journey for the Sun - 2018
Cabinet was delighted to return to a medium Frank developed across Chicago for over two decades - the art of pageantry. A community, art inspired, collective event inspired by a simple story, fantastic images and unusual objects and an opportunity for emerging artists to perform alongside the city’s finest singers and clowns. Kasey Foster, Yuri Lane, Jean Carlos Claudio, Seth Bockley, Kevin O'Donnell, and Sylvia Hernandez were joined by 15 members of The Actors Gymnasiums Teen Ensemble for a sci-fi circus cartoon romp.
"Our vision for The Actors Gymnasium Winter Circus has always been combining multi-disciplinary arts into the productions. Storytelling through dance, live music, clowning, circus arts, and now, puppets. I have been a huge fan of Frank Maugeri’s work with puppets and pageantry forever. I am thrilled to have had the stars finally align to make it possible for him to bring his special brand of poetry with inanimate objects to our stage." -Sylvia Hernandez-DiStasi