“Saturday Night Live” cast member Cecily Strong, a former child actress with the Village Players, slipped a mention of the Oak Park theater company into one of the show’s bits this weekend.
The final sketch of the night was a parody of testimonial commercials for the anti-smoking drug Chantix. Strong played Kelly, a customer fully satisfied with the product — until the announcer noted she was not an actress.
Well, not anymore, said Kelly, who then tried to pivot the ad into a showcase for her talents. “Chantix was different,” she said, “sort of like my take on Ophelia in the Village Players’ production of ‘Hamlet.’ ”
The voiceover announcer retorted, “But that was just community theater.”
Undeterred, the ex-actress went on to impersonate her grandmother “from the Old Country,” overemote a monologue and offer (while smoking again) to do nudity.
Strong grew up in Oak Park and started studying drama at 3. At 8 she played Ruthie Joad in a Village Players production of “The Grapes of Wrath,” the first of several roles she played with the troupe.
“I did a bunch with Village Players for a while,” she told the Oak Parker in 2016. “I still have — my grandma made me a scrapbook, she used to keep all my programs and things — so I have a lot of old Village Players programs and pictures.”