Jon Robin Baitz's Mizlansky/Zilinsky will make its Midwest premiere at the Steppenwolf Theatre Company's Studio space May 16 (the press opening is May 15). The comedy, the final Studio production for 1998-99, began previews May 6 for a run through June 27. Ensemble member and artistic associate Amy Morton directs. Miz/Zil tells of a pair of outmoded Hollywood hustlers trying to piece together one last get-rich-quick scheme, but they're foiled by a financially savvy -- and racist -- millionaire. The play enjoyed an extended run at New York's Manhattan Theatre Club last winter. The Joe Mantello-directed production featured Nathan Lane and Lewis J. Stadlen.
Steppenwolf ensemble member Francis Guinan and Ross Lehman star as the title characters. Lehman appeared opposite the aforementioned Stadlen in the recent Broadway revival of A Funny Thing Happened on the Way To The Forum. Guinan starred as Tom in Steppenwolf's production of David Hare's drama, Skylight.
Also in the Miz/Zil cast are Michael Canavan (Horton De Vries), Sarah Chariper (Dusty Fink), Marc Grapey (Miles Brook), David Alan Novak (Lionel Hart), Andy Rothenberg (Paul Trecker) and Will Zahrn (Alan Tolkin).
Designing the show are Dan Ostling (set), Charles Jolls (lighting), Stacy Ellen Rich (costumes) and Barry Funderberg (sound). Michele Kay is the stage manager.
Miz/Zil is an early play by Baitz that he reworked for the Manhattan Theater Club production. Other Baitz works include Three Hotels and The Substance of Fire.
For tickets ($27-$20), call (312) 335-1650. The Steppenwolf is located on the web at http://www.steppenwolf.org.
-- By Robert Simonson