Screen-writer Austin (Jon Michael Hill, left) gets an ear (and eye) full from his brother Lee (Namir Smallwood) in “True West” at Steppenwolf. (Photos by Michael Brosilow)
“True West” by Sam Shepard, directed by Randall Arney at Steppenwolf Theatre through Aug. 25. ★★★★
By Lawrence B. Johnson
It’s a surreal encounter and also a never-ending story, Sam Shepard’s slugfest of a play “True West,” which sprawls across the stage in a lusty, mad and magnetic production at Steppenwolf Theatre.
The tattered remains of actors Jon Michael Hill and Namir Smallwood, who had just endured a mutual pummeling as contentious brothers unexpectedly and most unhappily reunited, shared in bravely earned applause at the show’s opening July 16. That erupting ovation was like the bell at the end of a 15-rounder. No need to ask for whom the bell tolled: It was for a two-man fraternity of the disillusioned, the disappointed, the finally and profoundly disenchanted. Read the full story »