News & Articles

Steppenwolfs presents December Traffic Jam

Chicago – For the last ten years, Steppenwolf Theatre Company's Traffic series has joined artists of all disciplines to cast them as storytellers in one-night-only presentations on the Steppenwolf stage. From December 1-18, 2005, Steppenwolf will celebrate with a three-week Traffic Jam, bringing dozens of artists to Chicago to provide an intimate and unique intersection of music, language and performance. All acts will take place in the Steppenwolf Downstairs Theatre, 1650 N. Halsted. Tickets $5-55. Fidelity Investments is the Exclusive Sponsor of Traffic Jam. The Talbott Hotel is the preferred hotel of Steppenwolf Theatre Company. Tickets are currently on sale for all events. Buy tickets online at, or call 312.335.1650. The following is the confirmed and complete roster of acts. Acts and performers are subject to change. Selected performances will have post-show book and CD signings in the Steppenwolf lobby. Thurs. Dec. 1, 7:30 p.m. – David Cale performs A Likely Story, directed by Tamara Jenkins One of the leading solo performers in America returns to Steppenwolf in this tragically hip one-man show. In A Likely Story, all hell breaks loose as a married woman considers making Viagra brownies, a wife’s poodle obsession gets out of hand and two straight actors are cast as gay lovers in a TV movie. Tickets: $35 Fri. Dec. 2 & Sat. Dec. 3, 7:30 p.m. – Kurt Elling and Kate McGarry perform in Fred Hersch’s Leaves of Grass Master pianist and composer Fred Hersch delivers Walt Whitman’s book of poems Leaves of Grass as a large-scale jazz score for two voices and an instrumental octet. This foremost jazz musician has teamed up with longtime Traffic collaborator Kurt Elling and acclaimed soprano Kate McGarry, to deliver an American classic like you’ve never heard it before. As The New York Times noted of its sold-out premiere at Carnegie Hall in March 2005, “This one brought a full house to its feet.” Tickets: $35 Sun. Dec. 4, 7:30 p.m. – Buddy Guy: In Conversation with Rich Cohen One of the most respected and popular blues artists of all time, Buddy Guy is the greatest living exponent of classic Chicago electric blues. He’ll be joined on the Steppenwolf stage by Rich Cohen, author of Machers and Rockers: Chess Records and the Business of Rock & Roll, to share with the one-night Traffic audience how the unlikely collaboration of Jewish producers and African-American artists created Chicago blues and rock and roll. Tickets $25 Thurs. Dec. 8, 7:30 p.m. – Kiki & Herb: Jesus Wept Kiki is a brash, boozy septuagenarian chanteuse with bruising vocals and searing wit. She and her stalwart accompanist, Herb, deliver a show that nestles just between hilarity and heartbreak. In the Kiki & Herb tradition of twisted renditions of songs from everyone from Eminem to Joy Division and Britney Spears to Kate Bush, Kiki & Herb: Jesus Wept will feature holiday favorites and never-before-heard selections destined to become instant classics. Tickets: $35 Fri. Dec. 9 & Sat. Dec. 10, 7:30 p.m. – Elaine Stritch: In Conversation with John Callaway In an intimate evening of casual conversation, legendary actress and singer Elaine Stritch discusses her life in theater and film with long-time Chicago public broadcasting journalist John Callaway. Ms. Stritch has had an unparalleled career spanning over 50 years, with stage roles ranging from Pal Joey to Company to A Delicate Balance to her recent Tony Award-winning one-woman show At Liberty. Tickets: $55 Sun. Dec. 11, 3:00 p.m. – Nikki Giovanni, Sonia Sanchez and XJ Kennedy perform Poetry Speaks to Children Nikki Giovanni, Sonia Sanchez and XJ Kennedy read their work written for children. The three acclaimed poets bring their creativity, humor and social consciousness to the Steppenwolf stage for an all-ages afternoon of spoken poetry. Tickets: $15 ($5 for children under 12) Mon. Dec. 12, 7:30 p.m. – Suzzy, Maggie, Terre and David Roche perform The Roches with a Holiday Twist Traffic favorite The Roches return to Steppenwolf to present this fun family show. Featuring material from thirty years of their legendary career as well as selections from their beloved Christmas album, this show would put even Scrooge into the holiday spirit! Tickets: $35 Thu. Dec. 15, 7:30 p.m. – Chicago authors Dybek, Kotlowitz & Lombardo present Chicago Stories Three acclaimed Chicago authors share their Chicago Stories in a one-night-only reading. Stuart Dybek will read from The Coast of Chicago along with the cast of the upcoming Walkabout Theater production. Alex Kotlowitz, author of the Chicago books There Are No Children Here and Never a City So Real, will share his latest work. Emerging Chicago writer Billy Lombardo will read from The Logic of a Rose, his prize-winning short stories about growing up in Bridgeport. These three contemporary writers prove that the Chicago literary tradition continues to grow in exciting new directions. Tickets: $25 Fri. Dec. 16 & Sat. Dec. 17, 7:30 p.m. – Dr. John and Marcia Ball Dr. John, one of the all-time distinctive voices in the history of jazz and the foremost ambassador of the Big Easy, unites with swamp pop singer Marcia Ball in honor of the rich musical heritage exclusive to New Orleans. With an infectious combination of R&B, gospel and funk, the Good Doctor and the Gulf Coast Balladress, each armed with their own piano, will take us down to the Crescent City for a night to remember. Tickets: $55 Sun. Dec. 18, 3:00 p.m. – Capathia Jenkins and Louis Rosen : South Side Stories Outstanding Broadway vocalist Capathia Jenkins (Caroline, or Change) and award-winning composer/lyricist Louis Rosen premiere South Side Stories, songs of youth, coming of age and experience. This extraordinary concert will also include selections from Dream Suite, on poems by Langston Hughes, and Twelve Songs, on poems by Maya Angelou, as well as other selections of jazz, blues and popular styles. Tickets: $25 For tickets, visit, or call 312.335.1650. Steppenwolf Theatre Company's Traffic series brings together artists of all disciplines and casts them as storytellers on the Steppenwolf stage. Traffic provides an intimate and unique intersection of language, lyrics, poetry and music, creating a fresh perspective on expressing the American story. Committed to the principle of ensemble performance through the collaboration of a company of actors, directors and playwrights, Steppenwolf Theatre Company’s mission is to advance the vitality and diversity of American theater by nurturing artists, encouraging repeatable creative relationships and contributing new works to the national canon. The company, formed in 1976 by a collective of actors, is dedicated to perpetuating an ethic of mutual respect and the development of artists through on-going group work. Steppenwolf has grown into an internationally renowned company of thirty-five artists whose talents include acting, directing, playwriting, filmmaking and textual adaptation.
# # #