Letts and Morton Star in Steppenwolf's Homebody/Kabul, July 10

News   Letts and Morton Star in Steppenwolf's Homebody/Kabul, July 10
Steppenwolf Theatre Company ensemble members Amy Morton and Tracy Letts will star in the Chicago premiere of Tony Kushner's Homebody/Kabul, beginning July 10.

Also in the cast are Firdous Bamji, Jeremy Beiler, Reed Birney, Ali Farahnakian, Diana M. Konopka, Raymond Kurut, Elizabeth Ledo, Aasif Mandvi, Omar Metwally, Arian Moayed, Amy Morton, Diana Simonzadeh and Christopher Yonan. Tony-winner Frank Galati (The Grapes of Wrath, Ragtime) directs.

Homebody/Kabul premiered Off-Broadway at New York Theatre Workshop last fall, just weeks after the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks. Though Kushner wrote the work before the tragedy, the plot, half set in Kabul, the capital of Afghanistan, proved prescient.

Homebody/Kabul, as the title might indicate, is divided into two fairly distinct parts. The first, Homebody, is a one-hour monologue delivered by an eccentric English woman who has retreated from her family and contemporary life in a fecund fantasy world of books, history and verbiage. Kabul, meanwhile, introduces the Homebody's husband and daughter as they journey to the title city in search of the suddenly vanished, and perhaps dead, woman. There, they encounter a culture and world that upends all their previously held ideas about their lives and themselves.

Kushner participated in an earlier workshop of the drama at Steppenwolf and has written sections of it. Most New York reviews praised the Homebody section of the play, while saying there was a falling off of interest with Kabul.

Morton will play the Homebody, a part made famous by Linda Emond (a former Chicago actor) in New York. Letts plays drug-addict diplomat Quango Twistleton. Birney, a New York theatre regular, plays the Homebody's befuddled husband, Milton Ceiling. Official opening is July 20. The run ends Aug. 31. Tickets are $35-$50. Call (312) 335-1650.

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