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January 16, 2003

Lakeshore, Piven Theatres Partner to Bring THE GUYS to Chicago

Lecy Goranson and Jeremy Piven star in THE GUYS in the Piven Theatre Workshop/Lakeshore Theater production in Chicago

The Lakeshore Theater and the Piven Theatre in Chicago are partners in a new production of THE GUYS, by Anne Nelson, which opened January 15 at the Lakeshore Theater. Jeremy Piven, whose parents Byrne and Joyce founded the Piven Theatre, and Lecy Goranson, known as “the original Becky” from the television series "Roseanne", star as the fire captain who was traumatized when most of his fire company were wiped out by the events of September 11, and a writer recruited to help him compose eulogies for his men. Anna Shapiro, an associate artist of Steppenwolf Theatre Company, directs.

The play was originally commissioned by The Flea Theatre, which is a few blocks from Ground Zero and premiered December 2001 with Bill Murray and Sigourney Weaver. Weaver is married to The Flea’s artistic director Jim Simpson, and stars, along with Anthony LaPaglia, in the recently released movie version of the play.

In an interview, Simpson said: “the heroism that was exhibited by the firefighters… is expressed in a very particular way in this play. Not general, sort of comic book heroes, but of ordinary men in extraordinary situations doing their job which at that point was heroic.”

THE GUYS has been performed across the United States and at the Edinburgh Fringe Festival, and was first performed in Chicago at the Goodman Theatre in September. The Lakeshore/Piven production will donate five dollars from each ticket to the Chicago Fire Department’s Gold Badge Families, and the Chicago Police Department’s Gold Star Families. Both organizations are dedicated to supporting the families of firefighters and police officers who died in the line of duty.

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