Steppenwolf's Motherf**ker with the Hat, Starring Jimmy Smits and John Ortiz, Begins Dec. 28
By Adam Hetrick
Jimmy Smits, John Ortiz and Sandra Delgado star in the Steppenwolf Theatre Company production of Stephen Adly Guirgis' Tony Award-nominated play The Motherf**ker with the Hat, which begins performances Dec. 28 in Chicago.
Tony Award winner Anna D. Shapiro (August: Osage County), who earned a second Tony nomination for staging the 2011 Broadway production, repeats her duties at Steppenwolf. The engagement will play through March 3, 2013.
Smits (Anna in the Tropics, God of Carnage, "NYPD Blue") plays Ralph D., with Ortiz (Othello) as Jackie and Delgado (The House on Mango Street) as Veronica. The cast is completed by Sandra Marquez (The Happiest Song Plays Last) as Victoria and Gary Perez ("The Closer") as Cousin Julio. Understudies are Gabriel Ruiz, Yadira Correa and Levenix Riddle.
The Chicago production reunites Smits with the play. The actor took part in an early reading of Motherf**ker. Playwright Guirgis also stated that he wrote the role of Jackie for Ortiz. Bobby Cannavale played the role on Broadway.
According to Steppenwolf, "Things are looking up for recovering alcoholic Jackie and his girlfriend Veronica—until Jackie spots another man's hat in their apartment and embarks on a sublimely incompetent quest for vengeance. Fast-paced and uproarious, Mother is a gleefully foul-mouthed look at modern love and other addictions."
The production has scenic design by Todd Rosenthal, costume design by Linda Roethke, lighting design by Donald Holder, sound design by Rob Milburn and Michael Bodeen, with original music by Terence Blanchard.
Guirgis' plays include Jesus Hopped the A Train, Little Flower Of East Orange, In Arabia We'd All Be Kings, Our Lady Of 121st Street, Den Of Thieves and Dominica The Fat Ugly Ho.
The original production of The Motherf**ker with the Hat premiered on Broadway in 2011, where it ran for 112 regular performances. It earned Tony Award nominations for Best Play, and acting nominations for Cannavale and Elizabeth Rodriguez, and fellow original cast member Yul Vazquez.
For more information, visit steppenwolf.org.
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