OFFBEAT: Profiles Theatre in Chicago launches summer with stage thriller 'In the Company of Men'

Phil Potempa's daily entertainment news column
2013-05-18T00:00:00Z OFFBEAT: Profiles Theatre in Chicago launches summer with stage thriller 'In the Company of Men'By Philip Potempa, (219) 852-4327

In today's world of political correctness, employee harassment lawsuits and "he said/she said," it's only natural to wonder if the mindset of the "good ole' boys club" network still exists.

It's still a "dog-eat-dog" world.

But are the "dogs" of today's workplace more tame than the corporate canines of the past? This is the real question that longs to be answered.

The world premiere of "In the Company of Men," by resident artist Neil LaBute and directed by resident artist Rick Snyder at Profiles Theatre on The Main Stage at 4139 N. Broadway until June 30, gives an imaginative and twisted look at this topic delving into the ladder climbing employee world.

And for good measure, it's peppered with a thriller plot set to a love triangle.

"In the Company of Men," as a script, has been performed in various incarnations as a play at earlier stages of LaBute's writing career as both a student and otherwise, and was eventually made into the film released in 1997 launching the career of star Aaron Eckhart, and with Neil LaBute as the credited filmmaker/playwright.

When it premiered at the Sundance Film Festival, "In the Company of Men" created what was described as "a firestorm of controversy with wildly divergent yet passionate opinions."

It received the Independent Spirit Award for Best First Screenplay, the Filmmaker's Trophy at the 1997 Sundance Film Festival and The New York Film Critics Award for Best First Feature.

It's about two frustrated young executives, Chad and Howard, venting their pent-up rage via a childish prank with a female co-work as they both court her romantically to purposely lead her on to other notion.

Tagged as "a psychological dark comedy," the story runs 90 minutes without an intermission examining the relationship of former college buddies Chad and Howard, who are now in their late 20s and work for the same company. Tortured by their lack of rapid advancement at their firm, they hatch a nasty scheme.

Actor Jordan Brown is in fine form as the brash Chad and actor Brennan Roche is even better as Howard, best described as "a tool."

They choose a lovely, hearing-impaired typist named Christine, captured quite nicely by Jessica Carleton, as their prank victim.

Appearing in ensemble roles are Dennis Bisto, Alex Fisher, Kroydell Galima, Shelby Garrett, Poppy Golland, Sarah Herndon, Joseph W. Moore III and Laura Leonardo Ownby.

Performances are 8 p.m. Thursday and Friday and 5 and 8 p.m. Saturday and 7 p.m. Sunday. Parking is available for $10 - $12 at 4100 N. Clarendon, one block east of the theatre at the corner of Clarendon and Belle Plaine.

Tickets are $35 to $40 with student and senior citizens receiving a $5 discount on all performances. Group rates are available. FYI: or call (773) 549-1815.


The opinions expressed are solely those of the writer. He can be reached at or (219) 852-4327.

Copyright 2014 All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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