Tom Ziegler's Grace and Glorie, about a 90-year-old woman and her cloying volunteer healthcare worker, has its Chicago-area premiere in a staging by Apple Tree Theatre, in Highland Park, IL, April 5-May 7.
Cranky, 90-year-old Grace is trying to peacefully live out her final days in her remote Blue Ridge Mountain cabin despite the well-intentioned visits of a rich, overly-enthusiastic volunteer (a relocated New Yorker) named Gloria.
Caitlin Hart is Grace and Sarah Underwood is Gloria in a staging directed by Apple Tree artistic and executive director Eileen Boevers. Official opening for Grace and Glorie is April 9; performances continue to May 7.
(The staging replaces a planned production of Passion, scrapped due to the pregnancy of actress Susan Moniz.)
Grace and Glorie was originally produced in 1996 at the Laura Pels Theater in New York City, with Estelle Parsons and Lucie Arnaz. Bonnie Franklin later appeared in that run. The play was adapted for film and aired in 1997 as a "Hallmark Hall of Fame" presentation Ziegler's other plays include Step Child, Small Sacrifices, Glory Bound, Home Games, The Last Resort, an adaptation of Luigi Pirandello's Six Characters In Search of an Author, the book and lyrics of the comedic musical The Lovers of Verona, and the one-act plays Making Ends Meet and Jesus and Isaac. Ziegler lives in the Shenandoah Valley of Virginia, and teaches playwriting and scenic design at Washington and Lee University.
Apple Tree designers are Jacqueline and Richard Penrod (set), Shannon McKinney (lighting), Jack Kirby (costume), Karen Berger-Nolte (prop) and Michael Fritz (sound).
Tickets are $20-28.50. Apple Tree Theatre is at 595 Elm Place, in Highland Park, IL.
For tickets and information, call (847) 432-4335.
Apple Tree's 1999-2000 season finale is the world premiere of Joy of the Desolate (June 7-July 9), Oliver Mayer's new play about a Native American who finds himself in the austere "halls of ivy." Gary Griffin, co artistic director at Apple Tree, will direct.
-- By Kenneth Jones