The latest play from the author of Beau Jest and The God Of Isaac will come to Chicago, IL's Victory Gardens Theatre, Nov. 13. Romance In D, formerly titled Prelude, Fugue And Riffs, began previews Nov. 7 for a run through Dec. 7.
Set in a Chicago apartment building, Romance blooms when a confirmed bachelor and musicologist, Charles, falls for his new neighbor, Isabel, an attractive poet.
Starring as Charles is James Leaming, with Linnea Todd (author Sherman's real-life wife) as Isabel. Also featured are Henrietta Hermelin and Howard Witt. Designing the show are Bill Bartelt (set), Claudia Boddy (costumes), Jennifer Boyer (props), Bob Shook (lighting) and Andre Pluess & Ben Sussman (sound).
Directing Romance is Victory Gardens artistic director Dennis Zacek, whom Sherman has officially nicknamed "Yoda" (after the "Star Wars" character). Why the monicker? "[He] knows all and helps us find our way."
Sherman, a playwright in residence at Victory Gardens since 1986, has also written Mr. 80%, This Old Man Came Rolling Home and the Beau Jest sequel, Jest A Second. A former Second City improv trouper, Sherman also studied performance with Uta Hagen. [Romance, by the way, plays on the newly-named Samuel A. Burstein Stage, while Always...Patsy Cline continues at the theatre's other mainstage. Burstein, a Victory Gardens board member, 1981-90, left $50,000 in his will for a Memorial Fund towards student scholarships, commissions and playwright residencies. His family bestowed a $100,000 grant on the theatre as well.]
Following Romance In D at Victory Gardens will be Before My Eyes (Jan. 23-Feb. 22, 1998, opening Jan. 29, 1998), a comedy/drama by Joel Drake tracing a gay man's 28-year relationship with his devoted parents. Sandy Shinner directs.
The fourth season show has yet to be announced, but the fifth will be Jeffrey Sweet's drama, Flyovers, starring stage and film actor William Petersen (May 15-June 28, 1998, opening May 21, 1998). Sweet's other works include The Value Of Names and American Enterprise.
In other recent Victory Gardens news, the search is on for a new managing director, since John Walker resigned, Oct. 24, to take a position with Warner Brothers. VG has formed transition committee to seek a new managing director. Meanwhile, general manager Elizabeth Auman and development director Marcelle McVay are handling Walker's duties. Under Walker's aegis, Victory Gardens added the Body Politic mainstage and studio theatres (1995) to become a four-theatre complex.
For tickets and information on Romance In D (dubbed "a reluctant romantic comedy") and other shows at Victory Gardens, call (773) 871 3000.
Victory Gardens Theatre on North Lincoln Ave., call (773) 549-5788, or refer to the regional listings on Playbill On-Line.
Founded in 1974, the not-for-profit Equity theatre has produced nearly 200 plays, the most recent being Root Causes (see Playbill On-Line story).
--By David Lefkowitz