21 May 2006


A couple of weeks ago we saw Love-Lies-Bleeding at Steppenwolf. This is a new play by the novelist Don DeLillo, who is one of my favorite writers (moments of his White Noise still come to mind, more than a dozen years after I first read it, and I find his prose almost matchless). I was also excited to see it because it stars John Heard, who has been a favorite actor of mine for nearly twice as long as I've been reading Don DeLillo. I'm not sure what I first saw him in—it might have been 1983's TV biopic of actress Frances Farmer's life, Will There Really Be a Morning (he played Clifford Odets). I know his performance as Jack Kerouac in 1980's Heart Beat also made a big impression.

The Steppenwolf play, though, was nothing special. For a drama, it wasn't terribly dramatic. Even Heard wasn't exceptional (though I experienced a little thrill, seeing him in person).

An aging artist has had a couple of debilitating strokes and family members argue about whether he should be euthanized. Not a bad play, but one I was glad I had not spent $40 a seat for (got cut-rate tickets via Hot Tix). Sometimes I think I don't like plays anymore, but once in a while I see something that redeems my faith in theater. Shaw plays almost always do.

Obviously this one didn't. Better luck next time.

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