After the power went out on the Steppenwolf mainstage, killing the stage lights and the sound system during the second half of the show, emergency lights turned on. Flashlights and cell phones were used to illuminate Francis Guinan and Helen Sadler as they completed the show. The Tribune reports that the power came back on as the audience was giving a standing ovation.
The play, which began previews Sept. 18 prior to an official opening Sept. 28, continues through Nov. 16 at the Chicago theatre.
Directed by Henry Wishcamper, the cast includes Guinan (August: Osage County, The Grapes of Wrath), Tim Hopper (Present Laughter, Russian Transport), Sadler (Tribes, The Maids), Dan Waller (Three Sisters, The Pitmen Painters) and M. Emmet Walsh (That Championship Season, Does a Tiger Wear a Necktie?).
"The kindness of strangers comes with complications," press notes state. "Tommy is getting by — kind of: he is crashing in his uncle's ramshackle house in Dublin, dodging his estranged family, and plotting a parade of get-rich-quick scenes with his buddy Doc. Then one day he defends a destitute woman against a violent attack, and a fragile glimmer of hope appears as Tommy tends to her in his run-down room. From the author of The Weir, Shining City and The Seafarer comes this compelling new drama — by turns funny and frightening, but always deeply human."
The production team includes Todd Rosenthal (scenic design), Rachel Healy (costume design), Richard Woodbury (sound design and original music), Keith Parham (lighting design), Cecilie O'Reilly (dialect coach), Erica Daniels (casting), Deb Styer (stage manager) and Michelle Medvin (assistant stage manager). Steppenwolf's Downstairs Theatre is located at 1650 N Halsted St. Visit steppenwolf.org for more information.