Letts, Morton Cast in Dietz's Last of the Boys at Steppenwolf

News   Letts, Morton Cast in Dietz's Last of the Boys at Steppenwolf
The cast has been set for Stephen Dietz's Last of the Boys, the 2005-06 season opener at Chicago's Steppenwolf Theatre Company.

The show will feature ensemble members Tracy Letts, Mariann Mayberry and Amy Morton, along with with John Judd and Christopher McLinden. Both Letts and Judd were recently seen Off-Broadway in Austin Pendleton's Orson's Shadow, as Kenneth Tynan and Laurence Olivier, respectively.

Rick Snyder will direct the "set in the California trailer home of a Vietnam vet, where the past makes a return visit."

The opening stage directions of Last of the Boys read: "A man appears from the trailer. Moves into the yard, opening a bottle of beer. Not a good beer. This is a point of contention. These things matter. Name is Stephen Willoughy Stark. You'd know him as Jeeter. (And you wouldn't know why.) He’s a vet. Vietnam. Our man has lived hard in his fifty-plus years. Knocked about these amber waves for a good long time and left his name on an awful lot of lists, if you follow. And he always ends up here: at the home of his best pal, his "top hombre," his "comrade in armchairs": Benjamin Lee Holloway. You’d know him as Ben. (You WOULD NOT call him 'Benny' or 'Benjie' or any other moniker of jocular familiarity - even in jest.) And chances are you'd like him. He's a builder. Used to work for a contractor, but couldn't abide a lesser man looking over his shoulder. Too much like Nam. Yeah, he's a vet, too."

Dietz is the author of Fiction, Lonely Planet and many other plays.

* Bruce Norris' The Unmentionables, directed by Anna D. Shapiro, will be the fifth world premiere in the 30th anniversary season for Chicago's Steppenwolf Theatre Company. John Mahoney, Laurie Metcalf and Amy Morton will star.

The show fits in with the existing 2005-06 line-up. In a striking break with its past record, Steppenwolf has decided to fill its 30th year entirely with new works, including plays by Dietz, Frank Galati, Richard Greenberg and John Kolvenback.

Bruce Norris is a favorite with Steppenwolf, which has produced more of his plays than any other theatre in the country. He is the author of The Infidel, Purple Heart, We All Went Down to Amsterdam and The Pain and the Itch. The new work is set "in a posh home in a small town in Africa, [where] a wealthy American entrepreneur, flamboyant government representative, young Christian missionary and his famous Hollywood girlfriend meet by accident. When one of them goes missing, they are forced to confront their benevolent notions of themselves and the realities of the world they think they control."

Running Oct. 20-Feb. 19 in the Upstairs theatre is After the Quake, director Frank Galati's stage adaptation of a book of interconnected short stories by Japanese writer Haruki Murakami, starring Tiffany Fujiwara, Aiko Nakasone, Andrew Pang, Keong Sim, Hanson Tse and Kayla Tucker.

Next up is The Well-Appointed Room, a new work by Richard Greenberg "of three couples in three different eras whose lives play out in the same New York apartment." The Jan. 12-March 12, 2006, engagement sees Terry Kinney direct Tracy Letts, Amy Morton and Molly Regan.

Love Song, running March 30-June 4, 2006, is a romantic comedy by John Kolvenback, directed by Austin Pendleton and featuring Tim Hopper and Laurie Metcalf.

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