In March 1997, Chicago's "Act I" theatrical bookstore will celebrate its 10th anniversary, but the staff won't do it in their current space at 2632 North Lincoln Avenue. As of February, the store will occupy 2540 North Lincoln -- "a more dynamic space in a busier area of Lincoln Park," according to a shop spokesperson.
The store will also be adjacent to the Apollo Theatre, which currently houses the big Aaron Freedman/Rob Kolson hit, Gentlemen Prefer Bonds.
Owner Rick Levine said, "We can offer our customers parking, and the space is beautiful -- exposed brick, carpeted. It is a big step up from where we started with our painted floors and industrial shelves."
Said manager Brian Ness, "We've been lucky. The Chicago Bookstore Wars haven't cut us too deeply because we're a specialty store. In fact, the bigger bookstores sometimes refer their customers to us because they don't carry acting editions."
Act I, which says it's the largest source of plays in the Midwest, also offers gift certificates and an actors' resume service. These days, their best-seller is a 1997 daily calendar that satirizes Uta Hagen's Respect For Acting. The title? "Contempt For Acting by Uta Haagen-Dasz." --By David Lefkowitz