Steppenwolf ensemble members Austin Pendleton, Martha Lavey and Rondi Reed will star in the Chicago company's latest production, Valparaiso, Feb. 3-March 26 (opening Feb. 13). 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, began performances in Chicago on Nov. 26, 1999, officially opened on Dec. 5, and runs through Jan. 22.
The play's cast includes Yasen Peyankov as Freud, Mariann Mayberry as Jessica, Marc Vann as Salvador Dali and Nicholas Rudall as Abraham Yahuda.
John Malkovich, probably Steppenwolf's most famous member, directs Hysteria, a comedy about Sigmund Freud's last days in a quiet London suburb. Malkovich, well known to film audiences -- most recently, from "The Messenger" and a film which actually bears his name, "Being John Malkovich" -- rarely takes the stage at Steppenwolf, or elsewhere, anymore, preferring to work behind the scenes. Other directing credits include Libra.
Johnson's other works include Insignificance and directing The Libertine at Steppenwolf, with Malkovich starring.
The company's 1999-2000 season schedule runs as follows:
• Hysteria (Nov. 26,1999-Jan. 22, 2000, opening Dec. 7), Terry Johnson's comedy about Sigmund Freud's last days in England, in 1939, directed by John Malkovich.
• Valparaiso (Feb. 3-March 26, 2000, opening Feb. 13), Don DeLillo's exploration of one man's ordinary business trip to Valparaiso, IN., directed by Frank Galati, starring Austin Pendleton, Martha Lavey and Rondi Reed.
• Gary Sinise will star as McMurphy and Amy Morton as Nurse Ratched in Dale Wasserman's adaptation of Ken Kesey's One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest, (April 6-June 4, 2000, opening April 16). Terry Kinney will direct. Sinise and Kinney are co-founders of Steppenwolf. The show will be presented at Steppenwolf by arrangement with Michael Leavitt and Fox Theatricals. As for a possible transfer to Broadway in the 2000-01 season, a production spokesperson told PBOL (March 25), "It's our hope that will happen; Fox Theatricals owns the New York rights, and that's why we're with them."
• Marber's Closer (July 6-Aug. 27, 2000, opening July 16), with Abagail Deser directing. Closer's quartet of dysfunctional romantic partners were originally played on Broadway by Natasha Richardson, Anna Friel, Rubert Graves and Ciaran Hinds, under Marber's direction.
The 1999-2000 season at Steppenwolf's Studio Space runs as follows:
• Redmoon's Hunchback (May 17-June 11, 2000), a Redmoon Theater-Steppenwolf co production, by Jim Lasko, based on Victor Hugo's novel, music by Michael Zerang.
The 1999-2000 Steppenwolf Garages season runs as follows:
• Austin Pendleton's Orson's Shadow (Jan. 13-Feb. 13, 2000); Orson Welles, Laurence Olivier, Vivien Leigh, Joan Plowright and Kenneth Tynan are the quintet featured in actor-director-dramatist Austin Pendleton's latest work.
• Lisa Dillman's Detail of a Larger Work (April 27-June 11).
--By Robert Simonson