Beginning the new season at Chicago's Victory Gardens Theatre will be Bluff, a new comedy-drama by Jeffrey Sweet.
Sweet's Flyovers proved a hit at Victory Gardens this past season and may make a Broadway or Off-Broadway move this fall. Directed by Sandy Shinner, Bluff will star Jon Cryer ("Pretty In Pink") and Sarah Trigger (TV's "Turks"). The play, which tells of a young romance coping with family baggage, runs Sept. 17-Oct. 24, opening Sept. 27.
Bluff begins when Neal (Cryer) and Emily (Trigger) break up a gay bashing, fall in love and move in together. All is well until Emily's stepfather, a dental supplies salesman (played by Tim Grimm, of Steppenwolf's Berlin Cycle), arrives on the scene. Kristine Thatcher, Beth Lacke and Jeff Parker complete the cast.
Designing Bluff are Jack Magaw (set), Judith Lundberg (costumes), Rita Pietraszek (Lighting) and Andrew Puless & Ben Sussman (sound).
Author Sweet also penned The Value of Names and American Enterprise, and he co-edited the "Best Plays" Theatre Yearbook for more than a decade. Upcoming shows at Victory Gardens will include:
€ Playing Nov. 12-Dec. 19 (opening Nov. 22), Door To Door is the latest from Beau Jest and Jest a Second scribe, James Sherman. Artistic director Dennis Zacek stages this look of three generations of immigrant Jewish women in Chicago.
€ Knock Me a Kiss, playing Jan. 21-Feb. 27, 2000 (opening Jan. 31, 2000), is a love triangle set in 1929 Harlem by the author of The Sutherland and Jelly Belly, Charles Smith.
€ Cheryl Lynn Bruce stars as late congresswoman Barbara Jordan in Voice of Good Hope, March 17-April 23, 2000 (opening March 27, 2000). Kristine Thatcher's bio-drama will be directed by Dennis Zacek. Thatcher's acting credits include Jeffrey Sweet's Bluff, which opens the Victory Gardens season Sept. 17.
€ Cahoots, by Claudia Allen (whose Winter at VG recently starred Julie Harris), is a zany comedy about a veteran dramatist collaborating with a novice on what turns out to be a boffo hit -- much to the consternation of the "serious" playwright. Sharon Gless, of "Cagney & Lacey" fame, stars.
Founded in 1974, the not-for-profit Equity theatre has produced more than 200 plays.
For tickets and information on shows at Victory Gardens Theatre, call (773) 871-3000.
-- By David Lefkowitz