Jordan Chaddock, co-director of Valparaiso’s Chicago Street Theatre’s “Hurlyburly,” was excited to take on the challenge of bringing the acclaimed dark comedy to the stage.
“It’s a difficult piece,” he said. “It’s pretty lengthy, and there’s a lot of scripts to deal with, and there are seven performers. A lot of the roles are really big with a lot of subtlety and nuance and subtext that you don’t often find in shows that are more like wacky comedies. And I appreciated that.”
Opening Jan. 19 and running through Feb. 3, “Hurlyburly” is a look into the lives of aspiring men and women trying to make names for themselves, as well as assorted friends and acquaintances, in a hedonistic Hollywood circle in the early 1980s.
The play was penned by acclaimed American playwright David Rabe, whose credits include “Streamers,” “Sticks and Bones” and last year’s “Visiting Edna.” “Hurlyburly made its stage debut at Chicago’s Goodman Theatre in 1984 before heading to Broadway. Its cast included Harvey Keitel, Christopher Walken, Sigourney Weaver and Cynthia Nixon.
“Hurlyburly” was adapted for the big screen in 1989 and revived on Broadway in 2005, where it received a Drama Desk award for outstanding revival.
“This is not a show for everyone,” said Chaddock, who is directing the play with Lindsey Elderkin. “If it were a movie, it would be a hard R … It was written in the '80s, and a lot of the issues that we have right now are the same issues that are present in this play. In some ways, it’s a very, very timely piece that’s going to be very challenging for audiences as well.
Chaddock and Elderkin’s cast for “Hurlyburly” is made up of Andy Urschel, Karl Berner, Justin Treasure, Tim Gleason, Sherry Sweeney, Stephanie Stalbaum and Lisa Zandy.
“Honestly, you couldn’t have asked for a better cast. We have some of the best people to work with, and they’re working really hard. And they’re doing an excellent job. I think that’s really going to be amazing. I really do.
“As complicated as it is and as ugly as it is sometimes, I think they’re going to bring a lot more to it than what’s on the surface,” he added.
An opening night party for “Hurlyburly” is scheduled following the Jan. 19 performance at Main + Lincoln, 210 E. Lincolnway, Valparaiso.
Next up for Chicago Street Theatre is a production of the family friendly “Sideways Stories from Wayside School,” scheduled to open March 2.