The Goodman Theatre and Northlight Theatre Company will co-present the Chicago premiere of Anne Nelson's 9/11 drama The Guys. The production, was to have run five performances only, Sept. 10-14, but demand has resulted in the addition of a second week of shows, Sept. 17-22. The drama will play the Goodman's Owen Theatre.
B.J. Jones, the artistic director of Northlight, will star in the two-hander with Mary Beth Fisher, who appeared in the world premieres of Rebecca Gilman's Boy Gets Girl and Spinning Into Butter. Robert Falls, the Goodman's artistic director, will direct. The show will have a performance on Sept. 11, at 7:30 PM.
The Guys was born at New York City's tiny Bat Theatre Company, after Jim Simpson suggested to Columbia University academic Anne Nelson that she write a play about the events surrounding last year's terrorist strikes. Nelson wrote the play in nine fevered nights. The work concerns a woman who assists a fire chief in writing eulogies for his fallen men. It debuted at the Flea, under Simpson's direction on Dec. 6, with Bill Murray and Sigourney Weaver starring.
Subsequent stars have included Anthony LaPaglia, Amy Irving, Swoosie Kurtz, Bill Irwin, Susan Sarandon, Tim Robbins, Tom Wopat, Carol Kane, Marlo Thomas and Stephen Lang. The show single-handedly kept the Bat Theatre Company, which sits just blocks from Ground Zero, from teetering over the financial brink.
The Nelson play has since run in L.A. and London, and a film has been made. For tickets to the Chicago production, call (312) 443 3800.
—By Robert Simonson