You might not want to take a ride in the Hellcab, but Chicago audiences have been flocking to Will Kern's play of that title since 1992. Famous Door Theatre Company's production, featuring a real taxi on stage, now runs at the Ivanhoe Theatre -- and soon at the movies.
An independent film of Hellcab, directed by Mary Cybulski and John Tintori, played at the 1997 Chicago Film Festival and will be released to theatres nationwide in September. The film is titled Chicago Cab because another movie had already used the play's title, "Hellcab".
Kern wrote the screenplay, based on his play about a lousy, but typical, night in the life of a Chicago cabdriver. The film, of course, is shot on location in Chicago.
Paul Dillon, the original hell cabbie, stars in the film, which features Chicago-bred stars John Cusack, Gillian Anderson and Laurie Metcalf as passengers. Also in the back seat are veteran Chicago players Michael Shannon, Ora Jones and Tracy Letts (author of Killer Joe).
Distributed by Castle Hill Productions and Dream LLC, the Hellcab film opens in Seattle Sept. 11, then comes to New York Sept. 18, Chicago Sept. 25, and around the country after that. -- By David Lefkowitz