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Cast members (from left) Mark Loosbrock, Kerry Sauer, Jason Olson, Jennifer Hinsch, Tory Bahlke and Barb Strassburg rehearse a scene from "Fashionably Late," which will be performed the next two weekends at St. Joseph Hall in St. Kilian. (Submitted Photo)

The 'Misfits' celebrate 25 years

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ST. KILIAN -- The Misfits are celebrating their silver anniversary this year -- 25 years of entertaining audiences with an annual comedy production. This year's offering is the comedy-farce "Fashionably Late," set for this weekend and March 23-24.

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Originally staged as a fundraiser for the St. Anthony-St. Kilian School, which eventually closed, the dinner theater has continued on with a different charitable focus, according to director Audrey Brake.

"That is when it was decided that all proceeds would go to charities, with each cast member selecting a charity of his or her choice," she explained.

Cast members -- who hail from the Wilmont-St. Kilian-Adrian area -- have come and gone during The Misfits' 25-year span, and this year there are a couple of new actors taking the stage along with some well-seasoned veterans.

"I think it's about eight years that I've been doing it," said Matt Loosbrock, who is part of a family Misfits legacy. "My dad, Mark, has probably done it for 18 years. I know Gary Nelson said he's done it for 24 out of the 25 years."

For this year's play, Matt assumes the part of a Texas oil tycoon, "who's looking to get his daughter set up with a new wardrobe," while Mark Loosbrock plays the fashion designer.

"The main plot is about what happens in his (the fashion designer's) absence," Matt explained, "how does the office staff handle a series of bizarre instances that go on."

Those bizarre happenings aren't necessarily confined to the script. The Misfits are apt to add their own comical touches to the on-stage happenings.

"The whole process is so much fun," said Brake. "Not only do the actors have to memorize lines, they have to figure out how they are going to express themselves with almost each and every line. Then, in addition to that, they have to know where they are going to move on the stage and how they are going to get there in a manner that makes the whole series of actions flow smoothly. Achieving all of this makes for some very hilarious practices, especially when a word comes out wrong, or somebody trips, or somebody decides to ad-lib a bit."

Matt gives special credit to the cast's prompter, Becky Remakel, who attempts to keep the production somewhat close to the script.

"She doesn't get the stage glorification, but she is the important one," he said. "She's probably the most important person in the cast. ... If we don't have all our lines memorized --we try --Becky keeps us on the straight and narrow."

"Straight and narrow" might not be the cast's aim, though, as they "are not above doing anything that will make people laugh," said Brake.

"We just enjoy making each other laugh," explained Matt. "That's the best part. After 30 practices, you go through it so much that you start thinking of other things to make the other people laugh, so you'll do just about anything."

Additional cast members are Barb Strassburg, Jennifer Hinsch, Jason Olson, Andrea Reetz, Roxie Kremer, Margie Loosbrock, Kerry Sauer, Tory Bohlke and Anna Sauer. Brake and her husband, Ray, have announced their intentions to retire from overseeing the production after this year in order to spend more time with their grandchildren, but they hope the production will continue on.

"Fashionably Late" will be presented at 6 p.m. Saturday and March 23 and 5:30 p.m. Sunday and March 24 at St. Joseph Hall in St. Kilian. A meal of pork chop, baked potato, vegetable, salad and dessert will be prepared and served by Randy and Karen Honermann prior to the performance. Reading Bus Lines will provide free transportation from Worthington, Rushmore and Wilmont for this Sunday's performance. All seating is reserved.

For ticket and bus information, phone (507) 472-8267.

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Beth Rickers
Beth Rickers is the veteran in the newspaper staff with 25 years as the Daily Globe's Features Editor. Interests include cooking, traveling and beer tasting and making with her home-brewing husband, Bryan. She writes an Area Voices blog called Lagniappe, which is a Creole term that means "a little something extra." It can be found at http://lagniappe.areavoices.com/.  
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