Photo Flash: In Rehearsal with Steppenwolf's AIRLINE HIGHWAY

By: Nov. 19, 2014
Enter Your Email to Unlock This Article

Plus, get the best of BroadwayWorld delivered to your inbox, and unlimited access to our editorial content across the globe.

Existing user? Just click login.

Steppenwolf Theatre Company continues its 2014/15 subscription season with the world premiere production of Airline Highway, written by Lisa D'Amour (Detroit, How to Build a Forest) and directed by Joe Mantello (The Last Ship, Casa Valentina, Wicked). Steppenwolf's production will be presented by Manhattan Theatre Club (MTC) at their Samuel J. Friedman Theatre on Broadway in Spring 2015. Airline Highway begins previews December 4, 2014 (Opening night is December 14, 2014; Press performances areDecember 13 at 3pm and December 16 at 7:30pm) and runs through February 8, 2015 in Steppenwolf's Downstairs Theatre (1650 N Halsted St). BroadwayWorld has a sneak peek at the company in rehearsal below!

In the parking lot of The Hummingbird, a once-glamorous motel on New Orleans' infamous Airline Highway, a group of friends gather. A rag-tag collection of strippers, hustlers and philosophers have come together to celebrate the life of Miss Ruby, an iconic burlesque performer who has requested a funeral before she dies. The party rages through the night as old friends resurface to pay their respects. A world premiere from the author of Detroit, Airline Highway is a boisterous and moving ode to the outcasts that make life a little more interesting.

Joe Mantello was recently in Chicago to direct The Last Ship, a musical by Sting now playing on Broadway. As an actor, Mantello received Emmy and Critics' Choice Television Award nominations for his performance in HBO's The Normal Heart. The two-time Tony Award-winning director has worked closely with many ensemble members starting with his college classmate, K. Todd Freeman and extending to Rondi Reed in Wicked, and with Laurie Metcalf repeatedly on the New York stage.

Veteran Chicago actress Kate Buddeke takes on the role of Tanya in place of Judith Ivey, who had an artistic scheduling conflict. The previously announced Chicago cast includes Steppenwolf ensemble members Robert Breuler and K. Todd Freeman with Carolyn Braver,Chris Daley, Stephen Louis Grush, Terry Hamilton, Scott Jaeck, Toni Martin, Caroline Neff, Tim Edward Rhoze, Judith Roberts,Brenann Stacker, Gordon Joseph Weiss and Jacqueline Williams. Casting for the MTC engagement will be announced at a later date.

The production team for Steppenwolf's production of Airline Highway includes Scott Pask (scenic design), David Zinn (costume design), Japhy Weideman (lighting design) and Fitz Patton (sound design and original composition). Additional credits include: Erica Daniels (casting), Malcolm Ewen (stage manager) and Christine D. Freeburg (assistant stage manager).

Single tickets to Airline Highway ($20 - $86) are available through Audience Services (1650 N Halsted St), at 312-335-1650 or

Photo Credit: Joel Moorman