• Improv Olympic, Del Close Theater, 3541 N. Clark St.,
• Saturdays at 10:30 a.m.
• Tickets are $5
• (773) 880-0199
Short stuff: Out with the kids
A school. A castle. The moon. Any of these locations can serve as
the setting for next week's Hogwash show. That's because the kids
in the audience choose the location for each performance. They also
costume the characters, decorate the set and throw out ideas for
character names. Willing participants can even join the actors on
Driven by the imaginations of the audience members, the actors
from Chicago's Improv Olympic create an hour of silly fun. They're
helped along by an improvisational pianist and two artists who
create props and set pieces as the show progresses.
Since the shows are unscripted, neither the actors nor the
audience knows what will happen when the show begins. The narrator
asks the audience for a setting and the story takes off. At the
performance my sons and I attended, the story was set in a school
where a new boy had to make friends. Within minutes two "boys" were
singing about riding a bike, the music and lyrics made up on the
The highlight for my sons was the character of Principal
Meriwether, who ranted about missing hall passes and sang a
delightfully wicked song about keeping kids in detention. As he
sang, the artists passed out hall passes to the kids so they could
By the end of the hour, a cardboard tube and posterboard bike
had magically appeared and several audience members joined the cast
to sing along to "Riding a bike in the hall." It didn't matter that
no one knew the song five minutes before. Everyone had caught the
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