Tuesday, April 7, 2009

Theater Of The Mined

We attended the 100th birthday celebration of the late Chicago writer Nelson Algren at Steppenwolf last night. Authors and actors such as Willem Dafoe, Don DiLillo, the Trib's mighty Rick Kogan, and Russell Banks read scenes from his works and it was fantastic to see it adapted for the stage. It was also interesting to note that my girlfriend and I were among the youngest people in the audience (though admittedly, I was less so). It struck me that the next generation of theater fans may not be nipping at our heels. I'm no lifelong patron of the arts by any means, but watching a live theater adaptation of a classic writer's works seemed to be a double-whammy of things that fewer and fewer people care about. In the digital age, I think it's good for the soul to revisit analog forms of entertainment once in a while, especially for those of us living in a city as culturally revered as the City Of Wind. As last night's host said, "Coming from New York, trust me- you're lucky to have the Steppenwolf."

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