The Court Theatre’s production of The Chairs, which began its run at the Chicago company Nov. 8, will close on Dec. 9. Martin Platt directs a translation by Martin Crimp — the same version used on Broadway a few seasons back. Chicago stalwarts Hollis Resnik and Jeff Still are Eugene Ionesco’s version of Didi and Gogo as they wait for an elusive Orator. Resnick and Still play the Old Man and Old Woman, a decrepit couple who live in an empty old house located on some nameless sea. There, they wait for and then attend to the (to us) invisible guests they have invited to listen to the message of a famous Orator. The Old Man has hired the latter to deliver an important message to the world, a life-changing revelation he feels he hasn’t the skill to communicate accurately. The play gets its title from the countless chairs the couple set up for the supposedly capacity crowd — all for a speaker who turns out to be something less than expected. Brendan Averett plays the Orator.
Resident Artist Hollis Resnik appeared at the Court as Myra Arundel in Noel Coward's Hay Fever, as well as in Fair Ladies at a Game of Poem Cards, The Learned Ladies, The Little Foxes, La Bête, The Play's the Thing, An Ideal Husband, The Misanthrope, Travesties and Celimene and the Cardinal. She has won eight Jeff Awards and the Sarah Siddons Award for Piaf.
Jeff Still played Orson Welles in the Steppenwolf Theatre Company, Williamstown Theatre Festival and Westport Country Playhouse production of Austin Pendleton’s Orson’s Shadow. Also at Steppenwolf, he appeared in A Clockwork Orange, Golden Boy, Wolf Lullaby, and You Can't Take it With You.
The Court is located at 5535 S. Ellis Avenue. For more information, call (773) 753-4472.
—By Robert Simonson