There Yet? Leaving Iowa, Chicago Hit About Road Trips, Is in Last Weeks

News   There Yet? Leaving Iowa, Chicago Hit About Road Trips, Is in Last Weeks
Leaving Iowa, the popular road-trip comedy by Spike Manton and Tim Clue, will close April 8 at the Royal George Theatre in Chicago after a yearlong run.

"Leaving Iowa is a about a journalist who returns home to Winterset, Iowa, to find the perfect spot to scatter his late father's ashes," according to producers. "Along the way, he relives the summer vacations that he spent traveling with his family on their annual road trips in their station wagon. Filled with charm, this touching play celebrates the love of family and the open highway. Told in flashback, Leaving Iowa speaks to everyone who has ever endured a family car vacation to an uninteresting historical site when they would have preferred to be in the Wisconsin Dells."

Directed by co-writer Tim Clue, the family-friendly show features an original musical score by Bruce Roper of the popular Chicago folk trio Sons of the Never Wrong.

Critics embraced the comedy after its May 13, 2006, opening. Extensions led to an open-ended run at the 200-seat Royal George cabaret space. The title has been seen in regional productions in the past several years (in Iowa, Michigan and Missouri). The Royal George run was the major flagship production of the work, overseen by its authors.

If and when the script is formally published and licensed, it's expected to have a wide life.

The Chicago cast includes Mark Nelson, Angela Bullard, Brad Armacost, Barb Wengerd and Kelly Cooper. The performance schedule for Leaving Iowa at the Royal George is Wednesdays at 2 PM; Thursdays and Fridays at 8 PM; Saturdays at 5 and 8:30 PM; and Sundays at 2 PM.

Tickets for Leaving Iowa are priced from $37 to $43 and are currently on-sale by phone at (312) 988-9000, at the Royal George box office, 1641 N. Halsted Street, or by visiting

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Leaving Iowa was developed in a suburban Chicagoland theatre before it was noticed by Jeff Daniels' Purple Rose Theatre Company, an organization solely focused on supporting Midwestern plays and playwrights. It premiered at the Purple Rose Theatre Company in Chelsea, MI, Jan. 22, 2004. Directed by Anthony Caselli, it featured John Lepard as Don, Grant Krause as Dad, Elizabeth Ann Townsend as Mom, Teri Clark as Sister, and Jim Porterfield as the male chorus.
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