In the spring of 2010, Chicago-based artist and theater wiz Dave Buchen executed the first edition of Baudelaire in a Box. He and his songwriter friend Chris Schoen adapted some of the notable wine poems of famously macabre 19th century French poet Charles Baudelaire, setting them to music and illustrating them with scrolling images that played within a series of boxes. The performance was so successful that Buchen, a founding member of Chicago's Theater Ooblek, decided to expand the project. The plan now is to adapt the entirety of Baudelaire's Les Fleurs du Mal by 2017, the 150th anniversary of Baudelaire's death.
Producing a new show every few months, Buchen has made his way through New York, Chicago and Puerto Rico, incorporating new musicians along the way. On Memorial Day weekend, Baudelaire in a Box makes its way to the Triangle where a team of local musicians will put their own spin on Bauedelaire's cherished words. Dexter Romweber, JKutchma, Curtis Eller and New Town Drunks will provide original music for a new batch of Baudelaire's poetry in a show entitled "Bad Luck." The group of musicians will play along as Buchen spins his art at Carrboro's ArtsCenter (May 25), Durham's Pinhook (May 26) and Raleigh's Pour House (May 27).
For an early listen as to what these shows will entail, you can check out a rough cut of New Town Drunks' "Ill Starred," one of their Parisian-flavored contributions to the show, streaming below.