Chicago Fringe Festival presents
Aug. 29-Sept. 8 in Chicago’s Jefferson Park neighborhood
“The Miscreants Run Out of Ideas” runs multiple dates and times at The Gift Theatre, 4802 N. Milwaukee Ave., Chicago
Admission button is $5 (one-time purchase), tickets are $10 for a single show, $45 for 5-show pass, $80 for 10-show pass, $175 for unlimited pass
For the complete schedule, go to chicagofringe.org.
Fifty companies and individuals from across the country will stage shows for the Chicago Fringe Festival. Three suburban residents are eagerly awaiting their chance to be part of this sketch performance/theater showcase.
Christine De Luca, a lifelong Western Springs resident, and Oak Park resident Shelby Bower both belong to the League of Miscreants. The title of this year’s (hopefully misnamed) show is “The Miscreants Run Out of Ideas.”
The Miscreants assembled a few years ago expressly to perform at the Chicago Fringe Festival. “We are by no means professionals—which is not to say that there aren’t a couple of professionals among us—but, as a whole, we are a group of people who put on a play,” De Luca said. Her days are spent at Northwestern University where she works in the Division of Rheumatology.
Although she has sung extensively since high school, Bower also considers herself an amateur performer. She works as a digital product designer.
The membership keeps growing but about a dozen people will perform in the upcoming show.
“To understand the show, you have to understand the last three shows,” De Luca explained. “The first three shows that we did were Friars-style roasts of fictional characters. This year, we’re doing a musical-style roast of ourselves.”
Audiences will hear parodies of some of the classic Broadway musicals, including “Oklahoma” and “The Sound of Music,” in this strictly adult show.
Bower has also been in the previous three Miscreants shows. “We’re all really good friends and the chemistry onstage is really apparent,” she said. “And it’s really cool to be around a whole bunch of theater people for a whole weekend. As any performer will tell you, you love being in front of an audience and getting that feedback and having that chemistry with the audience as well.”
Her contribution to the show, Bower admitted, is that “I have roughly the sense of humor of a 12-year-old boy. I’m very fond of the double entendre and I’ve been told that my laugh is contagious.”
Bower noted that this year’s show is “probably the most ambitious from a pure show perspective, and it breaks a little bit of the format from previous year. We use a lot of awesome music from classic musicals and we make them our own.”
De Luca declared that people should come see “The Miscreants Run Out of Ideas” because, “It’s really funny. Who doesn’t love somebody who’s making fun of themselves?”