Bowling is back at Chicago's Victory Gardens. The theatre whose Access Project for disabled theatre premiered the Mike Ervin play in April 1999 brings The History of Bowling back to inaugurate the company's new Second Stage series. The romantic comedy runs Oct. 13-Nov. 19, with a press opening Oct. 15. Susan Nussbaum (Staring Back, Michuganismo) returns to direct.
The History of Bowling follows the comic romance between Chuck, a 30-year-old quadriplegic who decides to forsake the TV in his mother's attic to finally attend college, and Lou, a 22 year old woman who has lived life hiding her epilepsy. Chuck falls for Lou in gym class and is spurred on by his blind and deaf Casanova-ish roommate, Cornelius, and their team term paper on a popular sport assigned by Barnes, the demonic gym teacher.
A disability rights activist and freelance journalist, Ervin's plays include The Plucky and Spunky Show (co-written with Nussbaum) and contributions to Activities of Daily Living.
Robert Ness, Doran Shrantz and James Joseph return as Chuck, Lou, and Cornelius. Marc Silva is Barnes.
The design team includes Mary Griswold (set), Frances Maggio (costumes), Geoffrey Bushor (lights) and Andre Pluess and Ben Getting (sound). Still in league with the Gardens' Access program, dedicated to making live theatre more accessible to persons with disabilities, Bowling will host several performances for blind and hearing-impaired patrons. Call the theatre for details.
Tickets are $22. For reservations, call the Victory Gardens box office at (773) 871-0000. The Victory Gardens Theatre is located 2257 N. Lincoln Ave. The Victory Gardens is on the web at http://www.victorygardens.org.
-- By Christine Ehren