ML - Michigan Avenue

2013 - Issue 5 - September

Michigan Avenue - Niche Media - Michigan Avenue magazine is a luxury lifestyle magazine centered around Chicago’s finest people, events, fashion, health & beauty, fine dining & more!

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Page 75 of 163

HOTTEST TICKET LEFT: The Wheel premiered in the UK, starring Catherine Walsh as Beatriz and Rebecca Benson as the Girl. BELOW: Joan Allen stars in the Steppenwolf's production this fall. You Can Go Home Again AFTER 22 YEARS AWAY FROM THE STEPPENWOLF STAGE, JOAN ALLEN RETURNS IN THE WHEEL. L ike many of her colleagues at Steppenwolf Theatre—Gary Sinise, Laurie Metcalf, John Malkovich—Joan Allen has seen her career veer far from the company's home on Halsted Street. Hollywood has certainly kept her busy, with roles ranging from Pat Nixon to CIA Deputy Director Pamela Landy in the crowd-pleasing Bourne franchise. That, plus the desire to stay at home with her daughter, Sadie, in New York, made her a stranger to any stage at all until 2009, when she appeared on Broadway with Jeremy Irons in the romantic comedy Impressionism. And now, for the first time since 1991, she's back in Chicago at Steppenwolf, starring in the American premiere of The Wheel by British playwright Zinnie Harris. Slightly Absurdist and a tad Brechtian, The Wheel traces the fantastic journey of a woman who attempts to reunite a young girl with her father. Beginning in 19th-century Spain and 74 traveling through time from one war-torn region of the world to another—right up to the present—the play combines black and bawdy humor with unsettling brutality. And Beatriz (Allen's character) is no Mother Teresa. "I kind of like that," says the Illinoisborn Allen. "I just finished a movie [A Good Marriage, with Anthony LaPaglia] where I had to cry a lot. And I like that this woman is stronger. But the challenge, I think, will be to find the heart in the piece, the humanity, because it can feel a little intellectual." Helping Allen meet that challenge is director Tina Landau, who has helmed the recent Steppenwolf hits Superior Donuts and The Brother/ Sister Plays. "If this were just a play of big, abstract theatrical ideas and didn't have an amazing, fleshed-out human role at the center of it, I wouldn't be interested," Landau states. "Beatriz continued on page 76 "Part of me finds The Wheel a little scary. There's something exciting about that." —JOAN ALLEN PHOTOGRAPHY BY DREW FARRELL BY THOMAS CONNORS MICHIGANAVEMAG.COM 074-076_MA_SC_HT_Sept_13.indd 74 8/7/13 7:40 PM

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