CHICAGO -- As a benefit for Center Theatre Ensemble, John Mahoney and Shannon Cochran will take the night off from their duties in Steppenwolf Theatre's The Man Who Came To Dinner and come to Chicago's Apollo Theatre for a special reading of Love Letters, June 1.
A.R. Gurney's epistolary 1989 play traces the lifelong friendship between a young man and woman of wildly different social and political views. Since the comedy/drama is easy to stage (two lecterns) and can be read from two notebooks, many famous actors have taken turns doing the show in brief runs, as when Love Letters ran Off-Broadway at the Promenade Theatre. Previous players include John Rubinstein, Dana Ivey, Jill Eikenberry & Michael Tucker, Treat Williams, Marsha Mason and Stockard Channing.
A veteran Steppenwolf member (20-plus productions) and current "Frasier" star, Mahoney currently plays Sheridan Whiteside in Dinner. Mahoney's NY credits include Orphans and a Tony winning turn in The House Of Blue Leaves. Cochran has a recurring role on TV's "Deep Space 9" and starred as Amanda in a recent Chicago Private Lives.
Other Gurney plays include Sylvia, Labor Day and The Middle Ages.
Mahoney is a longtime friend and colleague of the evening's director and coordinator Frank Farrell. Farrell's a busy fellow these days, as he's also directing a mounting of Shakespeare's As You Like It set on an actual hiking trail. For tickets ($50) and information about Love Letters call (312) 902-1500.
-- By David Lefkowitz