Steppenwolf Theatre will host the world premiere of a stage adaptation of Kurt Vonnegut's satirical science fiction novel, Slaughterhouse-Five Sept. 18-Nov. 3).
Eric Simonson, a member of the Steppenwolf ensemble, wrote the adaptation and will direct the production, which will have its press opening Sept. 29.
Slaughterhouse-Five is the saga of Billy Pilgrim, a Native American optometrist who, with the help of aliens from outer space, becomes "unstuck in time" and travels back and forth in his memory from the present to scenes of horror from World War II, which he narrowly survived.
The cast for the Steppenwolf production includes Rick Snyder as Billy Pilgrim, along with Matt Doherty, Jennifer Roberts, Sharon Sachs, Will Zarn and other members of the Steppenwolf ensemble -- augmented by students from Columbia College.
Simonsen directed The Song of Jacob Zulu at Steppenwolf and on Broadway. His previous adaptations include Bang the Drum Slowly in 1992 and Mark Harris' The Southpaw in 1995. He co-authored the original play Nomathemba with Ntozake Shange and Joseph Shabalala in 1994. Vonnegut is author of many books, including Breakfast of Champions, Player Piano and God Bless You, Mr. Rosewater, the latter of which was adapted as a musical by Alan Menken and Howard Ashman just before their first hit, Little Shop of Horrors. Vonnegut's novel Slapstick was filmed with Jerry Lewis.
Tickets to Slaughterhouse-Five cost $24.50 to $36.50. For tickets or information: (312) 335-1650.
-- By Robert Viagas