Jeffrey Sweet Explores Ruins of Postwar Germany in World Premiere, Berlin '45, in Chicago March 18

News   Jeffrey Sweet Explores Ruins of Postwar Germany in World Premiere, Berlin '45, in Chicago March 18
Playwright Jeffrey Sweet's 25-year relationship with Victory Gardens Theater continues March 18-May 1 with the world premiere of the prolific writer's Berlin '45, a new drama starring Tandy Cronyn and Roderick Peeples.

At VG, the Tony Award-honored hothouse of new works written by a stable of member-writers, Cronyn and Peeples will originate the lead roles in Sweet's "intense and dramatic new love story set in Hitler's Germany."

Director Calvin MacLean will stage the play, Sweet's 11th production at Victory Gardens. The cast also includes Chris Cantelmi, Melissa Carlson, Deborah Leydig and Gary Houston.

"Set in the ruins of Hitler's Germany, Berlin '45 revolves around Ilse, a former dancer awaiting the arrival of Soviet troops to see what form their liberation of her city will take," according to VG notes. "Ilse's need to survive leads her to Gregor, a Russian colonel who becomes her protector. Ilse is shocked to discover that the man she has chosen out of expedience is something of a soul mate. Both loathe their countries' leadership, both are horrified by the actions of their countrymen, and both are looking for hope of civilization in the heart of chaos."

Sweet's 25-year relationship with Victory Gardens began in 1979 with a long-running production of Porch , followed over the years with productions of Ties, The Value of Names, Flyovers, Bluff, The Action Against Sol Schumann and Immoral Imperatives. Other works include the musicals What About Luv? (written with Susan Birkenhead and Howard Marren, based on a play by Murray Schisgal) and I Sent a Letter To My Love (written with Melissa Manchester, based on the novel by Bernice Rubens) and American Enterprise .

His plays have won the Jefferson Award (and three Jefferson nominations), two American Theatre Critics Association playwriting awards (and several nominations), a "Best Plays" citation, the Outer Critics Circle Award and a Kennedy Center-American Express honor. The design team for Berlin '45 is Jack Magaw (set), Judith Lundberg (costumes), Julie Mack (lights), and Andre Pluess (sound). Tina Jach is production stage manager.

Press opening is 7:30 PM March 28. Victory Gardens Theater is at 2257 N. Lincoln Ave., Chicago.

For information, call (773) 871-3000, for tickets and information, or buy tickets online, visit For more information, visit

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