Steppenwolf ensemble members Austin Pendleton, Martha Lavey and Rondi Reed will give their last performances in the Chicago company's latest production, Valparaiso, on March 26. Don DeLillo's exploration of one man's ordinary business trip to Valparaiso, IN, began previews Feb. 3 for an opening Feb. 13. Frank Galati directs.
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 (since closed, and expected at the Williamstown Theatre Festival this summer), when Galati asked him to fill one of roles in Valparaiso.
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. --By Robert Simonson