Death Defying Acts Review – A Three Ring Comedy Circus



The Saint Sebastian Players (SSP) concludes the company’s 33rd season with Death Defying Acts, an evening of three one-acts by Woody Allen, David Mamet and Elaine May. Performances are April 25–May 18 at St. Bonaventure, 1625 W. Diversey, Chicago.


DEATH DEFYING ACTS is a compilation of three wonderful comedies:


David Mamet's AN INTERVIEW, an oblique, mystifying interrogation. A sleazy lawyer is forced to answer difficult questions and to admit the truth about his life and career. The why and where (is he in hell?) of the interrogation provide a surprise ending to this brilliant comedy.


In HOTLINE by Elaine May, a neurotic woman with enough urban angst to fill a neighborhood calls a suicide crisis hotline. The counselor who gets the call is overwhelmed - it is his first night on the job.


Finally, a well-to-do psychiatrist has just discovered that her best friend is having an affair with her husband in Woody Allen's wildly comic CENTRAL PARK WEST. She has invited the friend over for a confrontation after getting thoroughly soused. Meanwhile, the husband is about to run off with a college student.



Full-priced single tickets are $20, $10 for seniors and children younger than 12. Group rates also are available. Tickets are available at Brown Paper Tickets and Give Central. All programming is subject to change.


For information, visit, call 773-404-7922 or visit Saint Sebastian Players Theatre Company on Facebook.


Making his SSP directing debut on Death Defying Acts is Josh Hurley, who previously worked on the SSP production teams of Godspell and Mark Twain: Patriot, Teacher, Philosopher.


The cast of An Interview includes Brooks Applegate and Kathryn Haynes.


Hotline cast members include SSP company member Michelle Annette, along with Josh Leeper, Joe Ogiony and Brian Vabulas.


The cast of Central Park West features Alyson Calder, Shawn Hansen, Becca Russo, Tony Vinci and Cortney West.


SSP company members on the production team include Paula Kenar as costume designer, Jim Masini as sound designer and Beth Bruins as stage manager, joined by Lauren Angel-Nichols as set designer/scenic artist and Madeline Sellars handling lighting design and properties. Company member John Oster is producer.


SSP began producing theatre in 1982 at its original home, the St. Sebastian parish, at the corner of Halsted Street and Wellington Avenue on Chicago’s North Side. When the parish closed, SSP relocated to its current home, St. Bonaventure, at 1625 W. Diversey. During its history, the company has produced original and previously produced dramas, comedies and musicals; original audience-participation mysteries for special events; and the Monologue Matchup Competition, as well as provided support for smaller Sebastian Studio Projects produced by company members. A complete list of mainstage productions is available on SSP’s website.


Death Defying Acts, an evening of three one-acts by Woody Allen, David Mamet and Elaine May, runs April 25–May 18, 2014, Fridays and Saturdays at 8 p.m. and Sundays at 2 p.m. at St. Bonaventure, 1625 W. Diversey, at Marshfield just west of Ashland, in Chicago. Free parking is available in two lots.


Photos: OCA Photography


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