Brian Dennehy and Elizabeth Franz star as Willy and Linda Loman in the Robert Falls-directed version of Arthur Miller's Death of a Salesman, officially opening Chicago's Goodman Theatre season Sept. 28, after starting previews Sept. 19. The show continues through Oct. 25. For information on the Goodman season call (312) 443-3800.
Dennehy and Falls have previously teamed up for acclaimed productions of Brecht's Galileo and O'Neill's The Iceman Cometh. The actor is best known for his movies, among which are Cocoon, First Blood, Presumed Innocent, Gorky Park and F/X.
Franz created the title role in Christopher Durang's Sister Mary Ignatius..., for which she won an Obie Award. She was recently seen Off-Broadway in Minutes from the Blue Route at the Atlantic Theatre Company and The Cripple of Inishmaan at the Public Theatre. Broadway credits include Brighton Beach Memoirs, Broadway Bound, and The Cherry Orchard.
The cast of Saleman also includes Kevin Anderson (Orpheus Descending, Sunset Boulevard) as Biff, and Ted Koch as Happy. In 1997, Koch appeared in the Goodman's production of As You Like It. He recently received a Jeff Citation for his work in CT20 Ensemble's staging of Orphans.
Rounding out the cast are Steve Pickering (Howard), Howard Witt (Charley), David Frutkoff (Bernard), and Allen Hamilton (Uncle Ben). *
As for the rest of the season, Jan. 8-Feb. 14, 1999 (opening Jan. 18, 1999), the Goodman Theatre revisits Waiting for Godot, to be staged by Goodman artistic associate Michael Maggio with native Chicagoan Harry J. Lennix as Estragon.
A very different offering will be Regina Taylor's Oo Bla Dee, a commissioned play about African-American female jazz instrumentalists. Goodman artistic director Tazewell Thompson will direct, Mar. 5-Apr. 11, 1999 (opening Mar. 15, 1999).
Tina Landau will then stage revival of her musical, Floyd Collins, a co-production with San Diego's Old Globe Theatre. Originally produced in New York, the 1996 work has a book by Landau and music and lyrics by Adam Guettel, and is based on the attempted rescue of a farmer trapped in a Kentucky cave. The prolonged tragedy became a 1925 media circus and a portent of future hullabaloos. Floyd Collins will be the fourth play of the Goodman season and will run Apr. 23-May 30, 1999, opening May 3, 1999.
The company's fifth and final `98-99 show is August Wilson's recently revised early drama Jitney. Goodman artistic associate Chuck Smith will stage the play (June 18-July 31, 1999, opening June 28, 1999), about the eccentric and sometimes desperate denizens of a Pittsburgh gypsy cab stand.
Jitney will mark the seventh Wilson play staged at the Goodman, including the world premiere of Seven Guitars.