James Sherman's Tale of Three Sisters, Relatively Close, Opens in Chicago

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16 Jun 2008

The Tony Award-honored Victory Gardens Theatre in Chicago opens Relatively Close June 16. The new family comedy marks playwright James Sherman's 12th world-premiere production there.



Previews began June 6. VGT artistic director Dennis Zacek stages the new play, which continues to July 13 at the theatre devoted to the development of work by an ensemble of playwrights.

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Sherman might be best known for the popular comedy Beau Jest, which remains VGT's biggest box-office success ever.

The Relatively Close cast includes Usman Ally as Yousef, Daniel Cantor as Ron, Laura T. Fisher as Beth, David Gonzales as Dylan, Penny Slusher as Jan, Wendi Weber as Marlene and Dexter Zollicoffer as Arthur.

According to VGT, "Anyone with a family — and that's just about everybody — will easily identify with Sherman's carefully nuanced mix of domestic humor and sentimental undertones in Relatively Close. Three sisters [Beth, Jan and Marlene] return to the family vacation home on the shores of Lake Michigan, where they spent the summers of their youth. Now the sisters are grown, the parents are gone, and the house is just sitting there. One sister wants to keep it, one wants to sell it, and the other just wants everyone to get along. With their respective spouses and one surly teenager in tow, will they even make it to the end of the week? Not likely!"

Designers are John Stark (set), Julie Mack (lights), Christine Pascual (costumes) and Andre Pluess (sound). Tina M. Jach is production stage manager.

Performances play the Victory Gardens Biograph Theater, 2433 N. Lincoln Avenue, in Chicago.

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Sherman, a member of VGT's Playwrights Ensemble, is the author or Magic Time, The God of Isaac, Mr. 80%, Jest a Second!, Romance in D, From Door to Door, Affluenza! and Half and Half.

Victory Gardens Theater's presentation of Relatively Close is a co-world premiere with Illinois State University of Theatre.

For tickets and information call the Victory Gardens box office, (773) 871-3000 or visit www.VictoryGardens.org.