Gapers Block has ceased publication.

Gapers Block published from April 22, 2003 to Jan. 1, 2016. The site will remain up in archive form. Please visit Third Coast Review, a new site by several GB alumni.
 Thank you for your readership and contributions. 


Wednesday, April 17

Gapers Block

Gapers Block on Facebook Gapers Block on Flickr Gapers Block on Twitter The Gapers Block Tumblr

« Chicago Shakespeare Stages a Lush, Celebratory Production of Pericles focus: Lucy McKenzie Exhibition @ The Art Institute of Chicago »

Performance Mon Dec 15 2014

Redmoon Winter Pageant Is Family-Friendly Adventure on a Grand Scale

By Kim Campbell


Photo by Al Zayed

It all begins on a glacier, where Raphael and Danielle's first date looking for a treasure goes awry due to some bad weather, causing a series of fantastic adventures to unfold. They battle great puppets like Yetis, a dinosaur and wind itself, meet aliens and cavemen, and test their character along with their survival instincts. All of this takes place on a very grand scale at Redmoon's new winter home in a giant, refurbished warehouse, with a cast of 10 professional spectacle performers and 30 community collaborators.

Redmoon is known for their large spectacle productions in Chicago, having spent the last 24 years producing memorable outdoor events in Millennium Park as well as in Chicago neighborhoods. They cite their motivation as a desire to transform the way people see their public spaces. Redmoon collaborates with multiple institutions and has left a mark on the Chicago arts scene at many levels, incorporating dance, circus, music, visual and fine arts while including professional and student work. Sometimes, they pull it off with a bang, and sometimes the amount of coordination required can be a drawback, as was the case in October when the Great Chicago Fire Festival drew large crowds but failed to deliver.

The Winter Pageant is an example of how their collaborations can shine, beginning with a gorgeous winter set--the glacier--and wonderful costumes with a Dickensian steampunk angle. The multi-talented cast traverses several genres of art via dance, music and even circus arts while unveiling the plot, which explores the idea of grand love.

The Winter Pageant partnerships go deep and are multigenerational as well as multicultural, drawing in organizational help from the After School Matters program to design costume pieces, the Chicago West Community Music Center for their soulful finale song, and Aerial Dance Chicago for their tiny aerial artists on silks and a graceful Sarah Milosch on lyra. The Happiness Club was on site to supply energetic cast members while the Redmoon Winter Pageant Urban Dance Collective made an appearance as space alien robot break dancers with a lively number. The storyline itself was a sort of collaboration, inspired by multiple tales of love, collected by Redmoon's Katrina Flores and youth mentor and performing artist Jarius King. They interviewed Chicagoans from diverse backgrounds, encouraging them to share a story about "the grand love that changed their life."

The show was charming, interactive, visually stunning and rich in theme. All of that collaboration does come at a price though, and in this case the price was occasionally a lack of clarity in the storyline. Although director Will Bishop and co-directors launched us well in to a world of wonder with a classic questlike fairytale, the plot did have some absurd holes that made it difficult to keep up with unless you suspended your disbelief in favor of a rollicking, joyful celebration of the human spirit through love. It was not difficult to do so, especially since the music and talented performers lead you there with such grace and enthusiasm.

The score by Jeremy Jacobsen, of the Lonesome Organist One-Man Band, is resplendent with powerful music that travels around the huge space like the weather, touching other performers and giving them license to perform solo harmonica and beatboxing during a puppet-infused dream sequence. Jangling banjo excites us while our hero attempts to sooth a baby Yeti, and harp soothes us during extreme weather as illustrated by aerial silks and lyra performances. In the end, there is a moving duet between the protagonists Raphael and Danielle and a soulful finale by the Chicago West Community Music Center featuring the powerful voice of Deonte Baker.

This level of fun and adventure on this grand scale is perfect for an intergenerational outing, as there are jokes for all ages, and music that will touch everyone in your party, and of course amazing puppets and a cast that will charm and thrill.

The Redmoon Winter Pageant will be staged again next weekend--Dec. 19-21--at 2120 S. Jefferson St. in Pilsen. Shows are Friday at 7pm and Saturday and Sunday at 1pm and 5pm. Tickets are $25 for adults, $15 for kids 3-18, under 3 free. Buy tickets online or by calling the Redmoon box office at 312-850-8440 x123.

Kim Campbell is a Chicago based writer who writes about culture, food and fitness.

GB store
GB store

Architecture Tue Nov 03 2015

Paul Goldberger Describes the "Pragmatism and Poetry" of Frank Gehry's Architecture in His New Book

By Nancy Bishop

Architecture critic Paul Goldberger talks about Frank Gehry's life and work in a new book.
Read this feature »

Steve at the Movies Fri Jan 01 2016

Best Feature Films & Documentaries of 2015

By Steve Prokopy

Read this column »


An Angry White Guy
AREA Chicago
ArchitectureChicago Plus
Arts Engagement Exchange
The Art Letter
Art or Idiocy?
Art Slant Chicago
Art Talk Chicago
Bad at Sports
Bite and Smile
Brian Dickie of COT
Bridgeport International
Carrie Secrist Gallery
Chainsaw Calligraphy
Chicago Art Blog
Chicago Art Department
Chicago Art Examiner
Chicago Art Journal
Chicago Artists Resource
Chicago Art Map
Chicago Art Review
Chicago Classical Music
Chicago Comedy Examiner
Chicago Cultural Center
Chicago Daily Views
Chicago Film Examiner
Chicago Film Archives
Chicago Gallery News
Chicago Uncommon
Contemporary Art Space
Co-op Image Group
Co-Prosperity Sphere
Chicago Urban Art Society
Creative Control
Devening Projects
DIY Film
The Exhibition Agency
The Flatiron Project
F newsmagazine
The Gallery Crawl...
Galerie F
The Gaudy God
Happy Dog Gallery
Homeroom Chicago
I, Homunculus
Hyde Park Artcenter Blog
Joyce Owens: Artist on Art
Julius Caesar
Kasia Kay Gallery
Kavi Gupta Gallery
Rob Kozlowski
Lookingglass Theatre Blog
Lumpen Blog
Mess Hall
Neoteric Art
Not If But When
Noun and Verb
On Film
On the Make
Peanut Gallery
Peregrine Program
The Poor Choices Show
Pop Up Art Loop
The Post Family
The Recycled Film
Reversible Eye
Rhona Hoffman Gallery
Roots & Culture Gallery
The Seen
Sisterman Vintage
Site of Big Shoulders
Sixty Inches From Center
Soleil's To-Do's
Sometimes Store
Stop Go Stop
Storefront Rebellion
TOC Blog
Theater for the Future
Theatre in Chicago
The Franklin
The Mission
The Theater Loop
Thomas Robertello Gallery
Time Tells Tony Wight Gallery
Uncommon Photographers
The Unscene Chicago
The Visualist
Western Exhibitions
What's Going On?
What to Wear During an Orange Alert?
You, Me, Them, Everybody
Zg Gallery

GB store



A/C on Flickr

Join the A/C Flickr Pool.

About A/C

A/C is the arts and culture section of Gapers Block, covering the many forms of expression on display in Chicago. More...
Please see our submission guidelines.

Editor: Nancy Bishop,
A/C staff inbox:



A/C Flickr Pool
 Subscribe in a reader.

GB store

GB Store

GB Buttons $1.50

GB T-Shirt $12

I ✶ Chi T-Shirts $15