Anyone curious as to how Frank Galati, the well-known director, shapes up as an actor should beat a path to Chicago's Steppenwolf Theatre Company, where he is playing opposite John Mahoney in Michael Healey's The Drawer Boy. The production, which extended at the Studio Theatre until June 16, will shutter on that date.
The New York theatre community knows Galati as the director of Ragtime, The Grapes of Wrath and, for a time, Seussical. Chicago audiences also know his directing work well, but those with longer memories can recall when Galati frequently strode the boards as a player. One of his last such turns came in a 1996 Goodman Theatre production of Brecht's Galileo. After a 12-year hiatus, he now returns to acting. [See PBOL's "Brief Encounter" feature with Galati.]
That choice has turned out to be a successful one. The drama was recently extended a week to June 16. It began performances at Steppenwolf in early April and opened April 22.
Galati plays Angus, one of two bachelor farmer brothers, and a World War II veteran who came out of the conflict with brain damage. John Mahoney plays the other sibling, Morgan. When Miles, a young actor who retires to the country to write a play, moves in with the brothers—and includes one of their stories in his drama—the farmers' lives are suddenly unsettled.
Mahoney is well known to television audiences from the sitcom "Frasier." He has appeared in many plays at Steppenwolf, where he is an ensemble member. He last appeared on stage in The Weir at the Geffen Playhouse in L.A. Johnny Galecki plays Miles. Anna D. Shapiro directs. Galati's next assignment is also in Chicago: directing Kander and Ebb's The Visit at the Goodman Theater this fall.
Tickets are $35-$45. Steppenwolf is located on Halsted St. For more information, call (312) 335-1650.
—By Robert Simonson