Frank Maugeri Takes Halloween to New Heights with Illumination

By Tate Gunnerson | September 27, 2018 | Culture

Former Redmoon Theater visionary Frank Maugeri puts his wildly imaginative stamp on Halloween with Illumination 2018.

With Illumination, Cabinet of Curiosities Events aims to deliver a transformative, multisensory experience, including stunning live performances. (Photo: Evan Barr)

The veil between this world and the next will be permeable (at least metaphorically) at Illumination 2018, Frank Maugeri’s over-the-top Halloween festival at Moonlight Studios in the West Loop. This year’s theme? The bardo—the spiritual plane between life and death.

“It’s a rollicking, celebratory party that’s fairly unstoppable,” explains Maugeri, the former artistic director of Redmoon Theater and recent founder of Cabinet of Curiosity Events, a nonprofit that produces wildly creative, ritualistic events like Illumination.

This year, an estimated 1,200 costumed attendees will pass through a vortex of fire before emerging into a fully decked-out 30,000-square-feet space, where they will experience a six-hour “lifespan” filled with DJs, puppetry, complex apparatuses, live performances, video art and light installations.

Over-the-top creative costumes set the scene. (Photo: Evan Barr)

“Nothing is the same for more than five or 10 minutes,” Maugeri says. “The guests are entering into a different world where there are new opportunities to celebrate and engage in ritual acts.”

Now in its third year, Illumination was started by fellow Redmoon alum Shawn Clark, who wanted to re-create the energy of the now shuttered theater’s annual Boneshaker bash. The event raises funds for research into retinal vasculopathy with cerebral leukodystrophy, a rare medical condition

In addition to funding a good cause, Maugeri’s loftier aim is for participants to have a uniquely provocative experience that leads to inner transformation. “Our mission is to provoke curiosity, community and culture,” he explains. “It’s about activating the spirit.” VIP tickets $175, Oct. 27, 1446 W. Kinzie St., 312.929.4261

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