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The Underworld brings the party to Caligari

author: mac brock | a&c editor

Music, magic, and vodka will fuel Mooky and Sara in this incredible night of cabaret performance. Photo Credit: Mooky Cornish and Sara Ski
Music, magic, and vodka will fuel Mooky and Sara in this incredible night of cabaret performance. Photo Credit: Mooky Cornish and Sara Ski

Mooky Cornish gives us a look into the most mysterious event of the Caligari Festival.

The Caligari Festival of German Expressionism has been in full swing in Regina. The festival celebrates the genre’s rejection of art as reflection through incredible displays of visual art, theatre, music, dance – a seemingly endless stream of brilliant new projects. On Halloween weekend, Regina will be rocked by one new event unlike any in the usual realm of concerts and performances: The Underworld – An All Hallows’ Eve Extra Vaganza.

I spoke to Mooky Cornish, one of the event’s hosts/ringmasters, who describes The Underworld as “a good time. An uplifting, intriguing, enlightening, belly laughing, different experience.”

The event starts at the secret meeting place – 1945 Scarth Street – at 19:45. There, guests will be escorted into a “menagerie of microcosmic performance and gallery spaces…inspired by madness, insanity, betrayal, fantasy, and horror,” according to the event’s Facebook page. At 21:11, the space shifts to a cabaret performance by Mooky and her collaborator Sara Ski. The night closes with a psychedelic dance party to local rock band The 2Headed Dogs.

“Basically, it’s a party,” says Mooky. “A way cool party.”

  The Caligari Project is no stranger to the Carillon, and its impact on the current Regina arts community can be seen in every institution. The MacKenzie Art Gallery’s current exhibit, “German Expressionists and their Contemporaries,” serves to introduce curious patrons to the genre’s vibrant colour palette and visual aesthetic. An event earlier this month screened the festival’s namesake – The Cabinet of Dr. Caligari (1920) – which Mooky insists “influenced many effects we use in movie making still today.” Alongside the screening, Jason Cullimore composed a brand new score conducted by local legend Victor Sawa, introducing us to the complex musical features of Expressionism.

So what does The Underworld bring to the table alongside these star studded events? According to Mooky, “[the artists are] just out to make life cool and interesting. If you want to see some weird shit you’ve never seen before, laugh your ass off at a live show, and chill in an interesting new space, come on down.”

Much about the evening is still kept under wraps. The venue and the list of performers/contributors is very hush-hush. Alternative arts events are not new to the city and are growing more popular in recent months, from the Globe Theatre’s Paper in April that was presented in a warehouse to the Downtown Pop-Up Walking Tours that have been growing over the past years. It is an exciting change to diversify the work of artists in the city, and The Underworld promises to take that to a new height. Mooky suggests that these events mean “that [independent artists] do the thing they love in a sizeable space…ideally they have learned as much from the process and research of the themes as I have.”

When asked if she could give the Carillon any exclusive hints about the night, she responded, “I suppose you’re alluding to the secret location. I can only say, it has something to do with Saskatchewan.”

Clearly, Mooky and Sara have many surprises in store for guests of The Underworld. Whether it is to explore the maniacal world of the Caligari Festival or to support the uniquely insane independent arts community, The Underworld will not be a night to miss.

The Underworld can be found on Facebook. Tickets are $25 or $20 for those in costume. Pick up a copy of the paper edition of the Carillon this Thursday to find a special student code!

About Mac Brock