Just as Fires in the Mirror has been performed without Anna Deavere Smith and The Fever has been enacted without Wallace Shawn, now, for the first time, David Hare's Via Dolorosa is being staged sans the services of its author and original star.
Chicago's Apple Tree Theatre begins previews for the one-person show, Feb. 2, and Chicago actor Kevin Gudahl and director David Darlow are ready for the challenge. At Hare's urging, and with the help of Chicago arts philanthropist Hope Abelson, the pair jetted to Israel for 10 days in early January to get a first-hand feel of the tensions and territory explored in Hare's sociopolitical monodrama. They traced some of the steps that British writer-monologuist Hare did.
Official opening is Feb. 6. Performances continue to March 5. This is Via's first regional production in the U.S., following Hare's Broadway stint in 1998-99.
Hare's autobiographical work concerns the playwright's experiences during a 1997 trip to Israel and the Palestinian territory. Via debuted in London in 1998 and bowed on Broadway in the spring of 1999, with Hare repeating his performance. Actor Gudahl recently starred in the Chicago Shakespeare Theater's Antony and Cleopatra.
The Apple Tree is located in Highland Park, IL. For information, call (847) 432-4335.
-- By Kenneth Jones
and Robert Simonson