Anton Chekhov the playwright and Anton Chekhov the short story writer will both be duly represented in the 2000-01 studio season at the Steppenwolf Theatre Company in Chicago.
The season will lead of with Frank Galati's dramatization of Chekhov's story, "The Duel." The European Repertory Company production, directed by Luda Lopatina, and starring Robert Breuler, will run Oct. 12-Nov. 12 (opening Oct. 21). A very Chekhovian story, The Duel concerns Ivan, who is bored with life and his mistress (natch) and longs to escape to St. Petersburg (natch, again), but instead finds himself engaged in a duel.
After a break, filled by the season's second attraction -- Alexandra Gersten-Vassilaros' The Ordinary Yearnings of Miriam Buddwing -- it'll be time for the Russian master again, as director Sheldon Patinkin mounts Uncle Vanya, June 14-July 15, 2001 (opening June 23). The tale of the bored and frustrated Vanya, who feels he has thrown away his life working for his pompous brother-in-law while hopelessly longing for the love of his young wife, will feature Steppenwolf's co-founder Jeff Perry in the title role. Curt Columbus did the new translation.
Ordinary Yearnings will be directed by Anne D. Shapiro and run Jan. 11-Feb. 11, 2001 (opening Jan. 20). The Miriam Budding of the title has a host of problems: her husband is dying, but not fast enough; one son is an over-eager cop, while the other is a forest-loving poet; and her daughter has dumped out all the vodka. Hmm...sounds a little like Chekhov.
Season tickets are $48-$82. Steppenwolf is located on 1650 Halsted Street. For more information, call (312) 335-1650. --By Robert Simonson