Steppenwolf ensemble members Austin Pendleton, Martha Lavey and Rondi Reed star in the Chicago company's latest production, Valparaiso, which will begin previews Feb. 3, open Feb. 13 and run until March 26. Don DeLillo's exploration of one man's ordinary business trip to Valparaiso, IN, will be directed by Frank Galati.
In Valparaiso, which premiered earlier this year at MA's A.R.T., a man who took the wrong plane to a mysterious destination now finds himself the obsessive focus of interviews and talk shows. With Valparaiso, world-renowned novelist DeLillo ("White Noise," "Libra" and "Underworld") made his second venture into the theater world. His first play, The Dayroom, premiered at the A.R.T. in 1986. The novel "Libra," about Lee Harvey Oswald, was adapted into a play by Malkovich and produced by Steppenwolf in 1994.
Pendleton just happened to be in Chicago overseeing the Steppenwolf production of his new play, Orson's Shadow, when Galati asked him to fill one of roles in Valparaiso. Shadow is currently in previews on the company's Garage stage. Pendleton last appeared at Steppenwolf in his own play, Uncle Bob.
Reed was most recently seen in Steppenwolf's production of Warren Leight's Side Man. In New York, she has acted in Picasso at the Lapine Agile and The Grapes of Wrath. Lavey, Steppenwolf's current artistic director, has appeared in several of the theatre's productions.
The cast is rounded out by David New, Ruth Landis, Marilyn Dodds Frank, Kyle Hall and Tom Aulino. Steppenwolf's production of Terry Johnson's Sigmund Freud comedy, Hysteria, ended its run Jan. 22.
--By Robert Simonson