Saturday January 20 8:36 am

Spotlighting events along the south shore of Lake Michigan



Rabe, the playwright who penned such provocative dramas as Sticks and Bones, Streamers, and In the Boom Boom Room, took the show's title from a word first used by the witches in the opening act of Shakespeare's Macbeth. By definition, hurly-burly has been used to describe a disturbance, a real to-do or hoo-ha. In the world of Macbeth it is the self destruction the once noble thane causes through his ambition. For Rabe's dark comedy, the term works well to describe the self destructiveness his four principle characters take in pursuit of power in "Tinseltown."

Hurlyburly depicts the struggle of four low to midlevel producers living in the Hollywood hills attempting to move themselves higher on the food chain in an industry that has devolved into unrestrained drug use and meaningless sexual romps. Their ambitions for this twisted version of the American Dream are derailed by the excessiveness of the Hollywood culture and their own self-indulgent behavior.

Although the show will take audiences back to 1988, when directors, Jordan Chaddock and Lindsey Elderkin have set the play, the pair feel that the dark comedy addresses relevant messages about society's need for immediate gratification and finding purpose. "This is behavior that has been going on for a long time in America," says Chaddock, " With recent allegations concerning some of Hollywood's most powerful producers and actors, it brings to light the cost of selfishness at the expense of others and our own sense of meaning."

Elderkin likens the characters in the play to the lotus eaters of Greek mythology depicted in the works of Homer. " Hollywood has been referred to as 'Lotusland' and right now there seems to be this idyllic remembrance of the '80s," she says, " Like the myth, Rabe satirizes a culture that has descended into narcissism, apathy, and the drug fueled pursuit of pleasure and excessiveness."

Part of the directors' draw to the work was the the social commentary that Rabe paints. In addition to edginess of the playwright's dark comedy was the complexity of the roles in the show. "The dialogue crackles with intensity, wit and emotional revelations and while Hurlyburly is very much an ensemble piece," says Chaddock, "Each character is immersed in a deeply personal battle whether it is for their own redemption or an effort not to feel."

Similar to the powerhouse casts that took the original production to Broadway and starred in the 1998 film with Sean Penn and Meg Ryan, Chaddock and Elderkin have put together a talented ensemble of local award-winning actors to inhabit Rabe's riveting work. The cast features: Karl Berner (Valparaiso) as Eddie; Andy Urschel (Valparaiso) as Mickey; Tim Gleason (Valparaiso) as Phil; Stephanie Stalbaum (Hebron) as Darlene; Sherry Sweeney (Hobart) as Bonnie; Justin Treasure (Schererville) as Artie; and Lisa Zandy (Winfield) as Donna.

Tickets can be purchased through CST's Box Office or online at and range from $17 for Students, Seniors, Military and groups of ten or more to $30 for CST's front row VIP couch seats. Box Office hours are Tuesday through Saturday Noon to 4PM and two hours prior to performances. Showtimes are: 8 PM on Fridays and Saturdays with a 2:30 PM matinee on Sunday, January 28 and a 7:30 PM presentation on Thursday, February 1. Audiences are invited to join the cast and crew following the performance on Friday, January 19 for an Opening Night Party hosted by Main + Lincoln located at 210 E. Lincolnway in downtown Valparaiso.

Due to adult themes, language, and content, Hurlyburly is recommended for mature audiences. Chicago Street Theatre hopes the viewing public will take advantage of seeing this risky piece of theatre excellence when it runs at Valparaiso's "Neighborhood place for plays" January 19 through February 3, 2018.