Firecat Projects and 16th Street Theater to Present NICKEL HISTORY at the Steppenwolf Garage, 7/19-8/5


Firecat Projects and 16th Street Theater present Nickel History: The Nation of Heat, written and performed by Tony Fitzpatrick with Stan Klein July 19-August 5 in Steppenwolf's Garage Theatre, 1624 N. Halsted with a press opening of Thursday, July 19 at 8 p.m. Adapted and directed by 16th Street artistic director Ann Filmer, Nickel History features film and video art by Kristin Reeves, music by John Rice and Anna Fermin. Singer-songwriter Joe Pug is a guest performer on opening night.

In 1943 two young men enlist in the army and navy to serve their country and save the world. Thirty years later, their sons Tony and Stan, stand in the cold all night long…in line for tickets to a Foghat concert. There's sacrifice and there's, well…sacrifice. Following his acclaimed This Train and Stations Lost, Tony Fitzpatrick looks back to look forward at our nation of heat.

Nickel History concludes Tony Fitzpatrick's trilogy, which began with This Train (2010) and Stations Lost (2011). Chicago Sun-Times critic Hedy Weiss called This Train an "ideal weave of storytelling, video and music." Writing about Stations Lost, Chicago Tribune critic Chris Jones said, "Fitzpatrick delivers the news, both local and international, from the point of view of an artist, poet and urban provocateur."

The production runs July 19-Aug. 5 in The Steppenwolf Garage, 1624 N. Halsted. The press opening is July 19 at 8 p.m. Regular run: Thursday-Friday at 8 p.m.; Saturday at 5 and 8:30 p.m.; Sunday at 7 p.m.. Tickets are $27 and available through the Steppenwolf box office (1650 N. Halsted), by phone at 312-335-1650, or online at

Tony Fitzpatrick is an artist, poet, and actor whose artwork can be found in the collections of the Museum of Modern Art in New York City, the National Museum of American Art in Washington D.C., the Museum of Contemporary Art in North Miami, the Museum of Contemporary Art in Chicago and the Philadelphia Museum of Art.

His recent exhibitions include solo shows in New York City's P.S.1 - MoMA and Pierogi Gallery in 2007 and in the Sidney Yates Gallery of the Chicago Cultural Center in 2008. In the same year his work was also shown at the First Biennial in New Orleans at Prospect One. In 2009 he had one-person exhibitions in New York City at Dieu Donne, in New Orleans at Ammo Gallery, in Illinois at the Rockford College Museum, in Austin at Slugfest Gallery, and in Los Angeles at Billy Shire Gallery. In 2011 he exhibited new work at the New Orleans Museum of Art.

His work has also appeared on album covers including the Neville Brothers' Yellow Moon and Steve Earle's El Corazon and The Revolution Starts Now.

Tony has made a living as a radio personality, construction worker, and as a film, stage and television actor. He has appeared in 15 major motion pictures including The Fugitive, Married to the Mob, Mad Dog and Glory, and Philadelphia. Recently he appeared in The Promotion directed by Steven Conrad. In 1991, Tony earned the Joseph Jefferson Award for Best Actor in Prop Thtr's production of Mass Murder. In the summer of 2003, Tony starred in Lookingglass Theatre's production of Race, an adaptation of a Studs Terkel novel directed by David Schwimmer. In 2010 Tony wrote and starred in This Train (16th Street Theater, The Steppenwolf Garage) followed by Firecat Projects' Stations Lost in 2011 at The Steppenwolf Garage before moving to the Boiler Room in Brooklyn.

Tony has published eight books including collections of art and poetry The Hard Angels (1988), Dirty Boulevard (1998), and Bum Town (2001); a collection of etchings entitled Tony Fitzpatrick: Max and Gaby's Alphabet (2001); and three collections of drawing-collages entitled, The Wonder: Portraits of a Remembered City, Volume 1 (2005), The Wonder: Portraits of a Remembered City, Volume 2 - The Dream City (2006), and The Wonder: Portraits of a Remembered City, Volume 3 - City of Monsters, City of Ghosts (2008); and This Train (2010).

Tony Fitzpatrick was born in Chicago in 1958 where he lives today with his wife and two children.

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