Totally Illegitimate

The Illegitimate Players


This bundle consisting of three books is sold at 20% off the regular price for its individual titles.


Acting Edition — A Christmas Twist

A very funny satire of Dickensian excesses about Christmas and poor people and the rich people who don’t care about them … A CHRISTMAS TWIST is bursting with humor that makes a mockery of Christmas sentimentality. Perfect theatre for the holiday season.

Acting Edition — The Glass Mendacity

Tennessee Williams gets the illegitimate treatment as THE GLASS MENDACITY hilariously parodies his work in this “magnolia operetta.”

Acting Edition — Of Grapes and Nuts

In the words of The Chicago Reader, “The witty script supplies the one thing Steinbeck lacked: a sense of humor! … OF GRAPES AND NUTS dogs its original like a comic bloodhound.” Chicago's WBBM Radio said “I have a feeling that were he alive today, John Steinbeck would be chuckling more than just a little … OF GRAPES AND NUTS scoots along, as Tom Joad might say, like a 12-toed man in a foot race.”


The most Illegitimate collection of titles ever offered. The Illegitimate Players’ irreverent twists on the classics are joyous, knee-slapping fun.

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Press Quotes


“TWIST blends two works by its victim author; grafted onto the familiar parable of Ebenezer and his spirits are guest villains Fagin and Mr Bumble from ‘Oliver Twist.’ The title character is twentysomething Tiny Twist, a gangly orphan waif who hates gruel (the Cratchits’ favorite dish) and whose crutch keeps getting stuck in cracks. Bumble and Fagin mercilessly exploit Twist (despite the lad’s klutziness as a pickpocket) until Bob Cratchit impulsively adopts the tall tot. The villains scheme to get Twist back, but in the mock-violent conclusion a redeemed Scrooge exposes their foul plot … abounds with Illegitimate irreverence, like a Ghost of Christmas Past who grouses about always having to fly from one stranger’s dreary memory to the next. Along with the regulation chains worn by Marley’s ghost are some keepsake accessories he added for texture. The Cratchits’ idea of forced merriment is to play ‘blind man’s bluff’ with a real blind girl and to share ghoulish holiday wishes. The Ghost of Christmas Yet To Come uses a step stool to tower over Scrooge and communicates entirely through charades … [a] good night of wicked travesty … inspired humbug.” —Lawrence Bommer, The Chicago Tribune


“By combining Williams’s three most celebrated dramas, the authors have come up with plenty of powerhouse material for their irreverent magnolia operetta.” —Sid Smith, Chicago Tribune

“In the twisted world of THE GLASS MENDACITY, the ensemble’s inspired send-up of the characters and crises of Tennessee Williams, the Players deconstruct a funhouse pantheon that riotously hurls together the author’s most outrageous oddballs. Loads and loads of laughs result.” —Lawrence Bommer, Windy City Times

“… the Illegitimate’s GLASS MENDACITY will delight any Williams buff with its nonstop barrage of informed in-jokes.” —Albert Williams, Reader


“‘It ain’t the heat, it’s the humility.’ That opening line strangely summarizes the heartbreak of GRAPES OF WRATH and sets the tone for this clever show. Irreverent on its surface, hilariously accurate in its mimicry, OF GRAPES AND NUTS is a tribute par excellence to Steinbeck …” —Susan Pellowe, Plays International

“The Players have scaled comic heights before. Their GLASS MENDACITY was the most devastating send-up of Tennessee Williams since his last four plays, and ALL MY SPITE reduced Arthur Miller to an hour-long gut buster. But with OF GRAPES AND NUTS, a surefire satire on Steinbeck, they’ve struck the mother lode of comedy.” —Lawrence Bommer, Reader

About the Author


  • The Illegitimate Players

    From the mid-eighties to the mid-nineties, a small group of Chicago Improvisational actors formed a cabaret troupe, forged from the classes of The Second City and invaded a tiny pub on Fullerton Avenue called The Roxy. The result was a decade long love affair with critics and audiences alike. From the very first musical-comedy revue, NEAR NORTHSIDE STORY, the Illegitimate Players proved their staying power. After convincing The Roxy owners to share their back room, converting it into a black box theater, their first revue ran for over a year under the direction of Second City's own Don DePollo. The consistent sell-out audiences prompted Group W Cable to tape the revue for Midwest television broadcast. This endeavor wrangled a Chicago Emmy Award. This taste for telecast was soon followed by video pieces for Chicago WTTW's Image Union program. Also performing semi-regularly on radio's Q101. And thus it had begun. NEAR NORTHSIDE STORY was answered by two other well received revues, OUT ON A WHIM and ILLEGITIMATE PLAYERS LIVE. But already the "IllGits" were branching out. To better finance their endeavors, they incorporated as "The Comedy Option" to write, video, and perform for corporation's rollout and sales meetings. They became regular client's for many Fortune 500 corporations, including First Chicago Bank, Abbot Labs, Boston Mass Mutual ... Their Emmy award brought Group W Cable back to pitch a series for the tri-state area. That offer soon became The Illegitimate Players on TV. A 26-week sketch comedy lambasting the television industry. Along with the live revue, the television show, and the corporate shows, they took on weekly hosting at Chicago's "Catch a Rising Star" downtown. The Illegitimate Players started working in longer form pieces and soon abandoned revue comedy to embark on a string of literary parodies for the legitimate stage. From their first full-length play THE GLASS MENDACITY, it was clear that critics liked what they saw. Their works were published first by Chicago Plays Inc. and currently by Broadway Publishing Inc. These stories live on in productions all over the country and the UK.

  • Doug Armstrong

    Doug Armstrong was a member of Chicago's Illegitimate Players.

  • Keith Cooper

    Keith Cooper was a member of Chicago's Illegitimate Players.

  • Maureen Morley

    Maureen Morley was a member of Chicago's Illegitimate Players.