Kate Burton may be riding rave Boston reviews of her performance in Hedda Gabler all the way to a cozy berth on Broadway this fall, but that doesn't mean she holds a monopoly on the part. Martha Plimpton will take her own shot at the gun-totin' Scandinavian housewife when Chicago's Steppenwolf Theatre Company mounts the Ibsen classic June 28-Aug. 19 (opening July 8). Douglas Hughes directs.
The drama is getting a workout these days. In addition to Burton and Plimpton, Judith Light is currently playing the part at the Shakespeare Theatre in Washington, D.C. In a PBOL interview last January, Burton said, "First there was Annette Bening, who did this [Jon Robin Baitz] translation out in L.A., and then Martha Plimpton did it at The Long Wharf, and will do it at Steppenwolf in the spring. She's terrific, a good friend of mine. We'd meet each other in New York, calling each other `Hedda' in the subway. And Laila Robins did it up at the Guthrie. It's wonderful that we're all getting a chance to take a whack at her. "
Matt Sussman will play Hedda's husband George Tesman. Tim Hopper, a veteran of such New York work as The Dying Gaul and Present Laughter, will be Lovborg. And Tom Irwin is the conniving Judge Brack. Jane Galloway Heitz, Amy Carle and Brigid Duffy complete the cast.
Hughes, who also adapted the Ibsen, directed Plimpton in this Hedda at the Long Wharf Theatre in New Haven last spring. Hughes recently made a sudden exit from that Connecticut theatre, where he had been artistic director since 1997. He previously directed Plimpton in The Playboy of the Western World in both Chicago and New Haven.
Tickets are $15-$25. Steppenwolf's Studio space is located at 1650 N. Halsted in Chicago. For more information, call (312) 335-1650. *
The Steppenwolf production of One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest is currently playing an extended run on Broadway. It won the Tony for best revival of a play. Gary Sinise stars.