You might not want to take a ride in the Hellcab, but Chicago audiences have been flocking to Will Kern's play of that title since 1992. Famous Door Theatre Company's production, featuring a real taxi on stage, now runs at the Ivanhoe Theatre -- and at the movies.
An independent film of Hellcab, directed by Mary Cybulski and John Pintori, is now playing at the Chicago Film Festival (Oct. 9-19). The film is titled Chicago Cab because another movie had already used the play's title, "Hellcab".
Kern wrote the screenplay, based on his play about a lousy, but typical, night in the life of a Chicago cabdriver. The film, of course, is shot on location in Chicago.
Paul Dillon, the original hell cabbie, stars in the film, which features Chicago-bred stars John Cusack, Gillian Anderson and Laurie Metcalf as passengers. Also in the back seat are veteran Chicago players Michael Shannon, Ora Jones and Tracy Letts (author of Killer Joe).
The Chicago Film Festival started Oct. 9 and runs to Oct. 19. For information on the fest, call (312) 332-FILM. -- By David Lefkowitz