Spotlight: Ready for the Fringe? Elgin's arts celebration returns for its 8th year

  • Sheila Willis, left, Cameron Feagin, Kat Evans, Julia Kessler and Maggie Cain (seen here in a March 2020 preview) star in City Lit Theater's premiere of "Thirteen Days," adapted from Robert Kennedy's book about the 1962 Cuban missile crisis.

    Sheila Willis, left, Cameron Feagin, Kat Evans, Julia Kessler and Maggie Cain (seen here in a March 2020 preview) star in City Lit Theater's premiere of "Thirteen Days," adapted from Robert Kennedy's book about the 1962 Cuban missile crisis. Courtesy of Steve Graue

 
 
Posted9/3/2021 6:00 AM

Elgin on the fringe

The Elgin Fringe Festival, an annual celebration of music, theater, dance, film and the visual arts, returns this weekend for its eighth year with in-person and virtual performances. Performers/artists scheduled to appear include: Elgin Theatre Company, improv ensemble Night Moose, songwriter/satirist Captain Ambivalent, comedian Mike Lemme, visual artist Maddie Richmond, artist/storyteller Marty Trejo and belly dancers La Groove Fatale among others.

 

Fringe Central and the visual arts exhibition opens at 3 p.m. Friday, Sept. 3. In-person performances commence at 6 p.m. Thursday, Sept. 9, at various downtown Elgin venues and run through Sept. 12. Venues include: Blue Box Cafe, 176 E. Chicago St.; Elgin Art Showcase, 8th floor, 164 Division St.; Side Street Studio Arts (Fringe Central), 15½ Ziegler Court; Martini Room, 161 E. Chicago St.; Hemmens Cultural Center, 45 Symphony Way. General admission to the festival is $3 daily, $70 for a full festival pass. Admission for individual performances ranges from free to $10. Proceeds from tickets sales go to the artists. COVID-19 precautions include limited capacity at venues/performances. Masking required for audience members. See elginfringefestival.com.

Crisis time

City Lit Theater premieres its all-female, pandemic-delayed production of "Thirteen Days." Adapted and directed by Brian Pastor from Robert Kennedy's book, the play chronicles the 1962 Cuban missile crisis during which the federal government discovered long-range Soviet missiles were positioned in Cuba and aimed at the U.S. As theater representatives note, all the characters in Kennedy's book are male. None of the actors on stage will be.

Previews at 7:30 p.m. Friday and Saturday, Sept. 10-11, and 3 p.m. Sunday, Sept. 12, and through Sept. 18, at the Edgewater Presbyterian Church, 1020 W. Bryn Mawr Ave., Chicago. The show opens at 3 p.m. Sept. 19. Preview tickets cost $25 and $28; regular run tickets are $29 and $32. COVID-19 precautions include proof of vaccination for all those eligible for vaccination. Masking required for audience members. (773) 293-3682 or citylit.org.

Mike Toomey returns to the Metropolis Performing Arts Centre in Arlington Heights.
Mike Toomey returns to the Metropolis Performing Arts Centre in Arlington Heights. -
Night of comedy

Stand-up comedian and WGN TV veteran Mike Toomey returns to the Metropolis Performing Arts Centre next week to kick off the theater's indoor 2021-2022 season. He's joined by fellow comedians Hari Rao and John DaCosse.

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7:30 p.m. Friday, Sept. 10, at 111 W. Campbell St., Arlington Heights. $30. Face masks required for all audience members. (847) 577-2121 or metropolisarts.com.

In other news

• The Antioch-based ensemble Mosaic Players begins its fall tour of "On the Verge, or The Geography of Yearning" at 2 p.m. Saturday and Sunday, Sept. 4-5, at the Parkman Pavilion, 2200 Grass Lake Road, Lake Villa. The play, by Eric Overmyer, is about three female explorers from the Victorian era who realize they are traveling forward in time to the 21st century. The group also performs Sept. 19 at the Lake Villa District Library, 140 Munn Road, Lindenhurst. Suggested donation is $20. See mosaicplayers.org.

• MadKap Productions presents the Stephen Sondheim and Arthur Laurents musical "Anyone Can Whistle" about a small-town mayor who touts a fake miracle to promote tourism until the plan is upended by a skeptical nurse. Performances begin Saturday, Sept. 10, at the Skokie Theatre, 7924 Lincoln Ave., Skokie. Ticket are $38-$45. (847) 677-7761 or skokietheatre.org.

• "Late Nite Catechism" reopens Friday, Sept. 10, at the Greenhouse Theater Center, 2257 N. Lincoln Ave., Chicago. Joining the production as Sister, the nun who conducts the combination comedy show and catechism class, is Second City veteran Jenna Steege. Mary Zentmyer and Liz Cloud also will alternate playing the role. (773) 404-7336, greenhousetheater.org or nuns4fun.com.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                       
 

• Rivendell Theatre hosts its Blue Jean Ball celebrating the theater's 25th anniversary and 25 icons who made it possible from 6:30-9:30 p.m. Thursday, Sept. 9, at Bridge 410, 410 N. Paulina St., Chicago. Attendees may livestream or gather in-person with proof of COVID-19 vaccination and masking. General admission $125, VIP is $175. See rivendelltheatre.org.

• The six-acrobat ensemble Cirque Us performs "RagTag: A Circus in Stitches" Friday and Saturday, Sept. 10-11, at Aloft Circus Arts, 3324 W. Wrightwood Ave., Chicago. Tickets are $20. See thecirqueus.com.

• Citadel Theatre celebrates its 20th anniversary during its annual fundraiser Villa Gatsby, Let the 2020s Roar! The Sept. 25 event includes a tour of a David Adler-designed estate home in Lake Forest, dinner, dancing, entertainment, and a silent and live auction. See citadeltheatre.org.

• The Metropolis Performing Arts Centre hosts its annual Stroll and Shop Soiree from 4:30-9 p.m. Sept. 22 in downtown Arlington Heights. The fundraiser includes shopping, appetizers, wine and beer samples, performances from Metropolis School of the Performing Arts Students, a performance by the Midwest Dueling Pianos and a raffle. Tickets are $50. See metropolisarts.com.

• Invictus Theatre Company announced its 2021-2022 season will begin Oct. 21 with William Shakespeare's "Hamlet." A revival of the Pulitzer Prize-winning "Ruined," Lynn Nottage's drama about the atrocities inflicted upon women caught in the middle of the Democratic Republic of Congo's civil war, runs Feb. 17 to March 20. The season concludes with a revival of Edward Albee's "Who's Afraid of Virginia Woolf?" (May 12-June 12). Performances take place at 1106 W. Thorndale Ave., Chicago. See invictustheatreco.com.

• Broken Nose Theatre's 10th anniversary season begins with a pair of audio productions. The audio adaptation of "Kingdom," about a same-sex couple with differing ideas about becoming husbands, opens Oct. 4. It's followed by the premiere of the audio play "Primer" (Nov. 15-Dec. 4) about the impact the looting of a Michigan Avenue store has on its employees. Next up is the in-person premiere of "This is Only a Test" (Feb. 11-March 12), about active shooter drills at a high school. That's followed by "Friends With Guns" (May 13-June 11) about a young liberal couple who learn a new couple in their social circle are proud gun owners, and the ninth Bechdel Fest with dates to be determined. In-person performances take place at The Den Theatre, 1331 N. Milwaukee Ave., Chicago. Tickets are pay-what-you-can. See brokennosetheatre.com.

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