Dark Comedy A Guide for the Perplexed at Victory Gardens Theater
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The last date listed for A Guide for the Perplexed was Sunday August 15, 2010 / 3:00pm.
Currently at Victory Gardens Zacek McVay Theater
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Bell and Birdie, lifelong friends and co-owners of a hair salon, love their South Side neighborhood… More
Victory Gardens closes its 2009/10 Season with the world premiere of ensemble playwright Joel Drake Johnson’s A Guide for the Perplexed,* *marking the Chicago return of award-winning Broadway actor Kevin Anderson. Anderson is perhaps most fondly remembered for his performances at Steppenwolf __(Orphans), __and on television __(Nothing Sacred) __and film (Sleeping with the Enemy). In A Guide for the Perplexed, Anderson stars opposite fellow Steppenwolf ensemble member Francis Guinan.
Anderson plays Doug, a newly released criminal, forced to take reluctant residence with his sister’s husband, their teenage son and a tank of tropical fish. The rehabilitation process, both absurdly funny and heartbreakingly sad, is by no means limited to the ex-con. When Doug’s female pen pal arrives in hot pursuit bearing strange gifts, the play cuts deep into the characters’ mutual feelings of pain, guilt and fear. Hints of a tenuous recovery make Johnson’s newest play both hopeful and very real.
“I wrote A Guide for the Perplexed as a way to explore the journey to redemption. How does guilt push you forward on that journey? And how difficult is it to change one’s behavior knowing that the success of that change is a key to your survival? All five characters are at a crisis juncture, a juncture that is both incredibly personal and wholly dependent on the people in their lives,” says playwright Joel Drake Johnson.**
- **“Joel has the ability to mine great humor from what often appear to be serious (or dire) situations. He is a master at juxtaposing laugher and tears. His plays always provide laser sharp insight into human behavior, and that makes the exploration of his characters fascinating,” says Sandy Shinner who has directed five other world premieres by Johnson.