Profiles Theatre announces that actor Paul Dillon returns to the role he originated in the 1992 world premiere of Hellcab by Will Kern for Profiles’ holiday season revival of their hit production. Once again, Profiles Artistic Director Darrell W. Cox returns to direct a cast of 34 with Dillon joining the cast as the beleaguered cab driver and ensemble member Eric Burgher assistant directing. Profiles’ production runs at The Main Stage, 4139 N. Broadway, through January 12, 2014.
Last season, Profiles’ 20th Anniversary production of Kern’s landmark play extended twice and played for over three months. First produced as a late-night show by Famous Door Theatre in 1992, Hellcab featured Paul Dillon as the driver and was originally scheduled for twelve performances. It ended up running for over nine years, becoming one of the longest running shows in Chicago theatre history. Hellcab has been performed all over the U.S. and abroad, including Scotland, Israel, Singapore, and Ireland, winning numerous awards, including a Fringe First at the Edinburgh Festival. Dillon also appeared in the 1998 film version, adapted by Kern for the screen.
Hellcab presents a day in the life story of a cab driver in for the longest night of his life as he transports a bizarre and mysterious collection of customers through the gritty streets of Chicago. Playwright Will Kern draws from personal experience as a former cab driver to create this alternately frightening, hilarious and poignant journey. Throughout his long shift, the eclectic collection of passengers includes a trio of drug-addicts, a smug lawyer, a born-again couple, and a randy couple on their way to a motel. Set during a bitter cold Christmas Eve, Hellcab presents a rear-view image mirroring the passing parade of humanity.
Directed by Profiles Artistic Director Darrell W. Cox, Hellcab features a cast of 34 Chicago actors. Originally performed by a cast of one driver and six ensemble members playing multiple roles as the passengers, Profiles celebrates the diversity of Chicago by filling each ensemble role with a different actor. In addition to Paul Dillon’s return as the driver, the passenger roles are performed by Dennis Bisto, Manny Buckley, Maryann Carlson, Chris Carr, Eric J. Ciak, Patrick Falcon, Alex Fisher, LJ Flora, Jeff Gamlin, Carly Jo Geer, Philena Gilmer, Desmond Gray, Megan Hickey, Khalil Lesaldo, Kaitlyn Majoy, Jack McCabe, Christopher McMorris, Stephanie Monday, Joseph W. Moore III, Todd Neal, Danielle Pinnock, Brennan Roche, Sarai Rodriguez, Brian Scannell, Mike Schiff, Sheridan Singleton, Aaron Spencer, Elise Spoerlein, Tara Tisch-Wallace, Richard Traub, Rachel Weeks, Regina Whitehead-Mays and Jonah Winston.
“When Darrell and Joe at Profiles told me they wanted to bring back Hellcab for the 2013 season, and of course I was happy about that, but I never imagined that Paul Dillon would be stepping in as the driver, 21 years after he originated the role,” says playwright Will Kern. “There's no telling what he can bring to the character at this time in his life, and how his experience will inform his performance. It's looking to be a great Christmas.”
WILL KERN (Playwright) is the author of Hellcab, one of the longest-running shows in Chicago theater history. Originally produced in 1992 by Famous Door Theater, Hellcab was originally scheduled for twelve performances as a late show, but its success with audiences and critics kept it going. It eventually landed it on the main stage in 1993, where it stayed, with many cast changes and at various theaters, until 2002. The stories from Hellcab are taken from real life - 85% of the play is true, and happened to the author. The other 15% are based on stories heard. Some of Mr. Kern’s other theater writing credits include Kid Sister, which received its World premiere at Profiles Theatre in 2010 and Mothers and Tigers: True Stories of Korean Women at Chaimoo Theater, in Seoul, South Korea, in 2008. As a screenwriter, Mr. Kern wrote the film adaptation of Hellcab, the award-winning short film Pain Chain and Lost in Rome. His travel writing and non-fiction have been published in numerous magazines and newspapers around the world as well. Currently, Mr. Kern teaches debate and narrative communication strategies at Sungshin Women’s University in Seoul. He is married, and has a two-year-old son.
DARRELL W. COX (Director) is the Co-Artistic Director of Profiles Theatre and most recently directed the hit 20th Anniversary production of Hellcab. Prior to that, he directed the Midwest premiere of Bachelorette by Leslye Headland, the American premiere of The Wonderful World of Dissocia by Anthony Neilson, Profiles’ Midwest premieres of This is How it Goes, “Coax” and the titular piece from Things We Said Today and Profiles’ long running hit, Autobahn, all by Neil Labute. Mr. Cox has directed numerous productions for Profiles over the years including the Midwest premieres of The Radiant Abyss by Angus MacLachlan and Wonder of the World by David Lindsay-Abaire. Other directorial credits for Profiles include The Water Engine, How the Other Half Loves and The Twilight Zone: The Series.
The designers are Shaun Renfro (set), Mike Durst (lights), Jeffrey Levin (sound and original music), and Raquel Adorno (costumes). Kaylie Honkala is the stage manager and Eric Burgher and Harmony France serve as assistant directors.
The cast of Hellcab includes Guest Artist Paul Dillon as the Driver, the role he originated in the 1992 stage version as well as the feature film.
PAUL DILLON (Driver) recently appeared in Bootleg Theater’s Death of a Salesgirl, which received a LA Weekly nomination for Best Two Person Performance and 9 Circles, recipient of an Ovation Award nomination for Best Acting Ensemble. Other recent productions include Geffen Playhouse's Superior Donuts and American Buffalo, Needtheater's The Event, and Center Theater Group's Bengal Tiger at the Baghdad Zoo. Paul was also seen in productions of Rantoul and Die, Heart of a Dog, Threepenny Opera, American Dead, the Ovation-winning Lost Angels production of Killer Joe, and the LA Weekly Award-winning production of Hellcab at the Tamarind Theatre. In Chicago, he originated the role of Joe Cooper in the World premiere of Killer Joe with Next Theatre as well as the role of the Cabbie in the World premiere of Hellcab with Famous Door Theatre. Paul went on to reappear in the Off-Broadway production of Killer Joe and produce/appear in the independent film version of Hellcab. Other camera work includes recurring roles in The Shield and The Pretender and the films Natural Born Killers, Austin Powers and Fight Club as well as the 2012 feature On the Road.
The supporting cast includes:
DENNIS BISTO (Ensemble) returns to Profiles Theatre where he performed two shows last season - The 20th Anniversary Production of Hellcab by Will Kern and the World premiere of the Newly Revised Stage Version of In the Company of Men by Neil Labute.
MANNY BUCKLEY (Ensemble) is a Chicago based playwright, actor, and teaching artist committed to the development of new and emerging plays. As an actor, he originated roles in the recent plays Hit the Wall with Inconvenience, Southbridge at Chicago Dramatists and Comrades Mine for City Lit. He has performed with Steppenwolf, Victory Gardens, House Theater of Chicago, Silk Road, Next, Stage Left, Raven, Mary-Arrchie and Gift Theatre.
MARYANN CARLSON (Ensemble) is an ensemble member at Profiles and was seen in last season’s production of Hellcab. She most recently performed with Chicago Kids Company in their production of Cinderella. In addition to stage managing several productions at Profiles including Bachelorette, Maryann is Profiles' Internship Coordinator and Administrative Assistant for the Advanced Scene Study Intensive.
CHRIS CARR (Ensemble) reprises his role from last season. Other Chicago credits include Almost an Evening, Five Flights and Obscura. He has understudied at Goodman Theatre in Mary and Remy Bumppo in Bronte and On the Verge. Chris can also be seen in Stephen Cone's film In Memoriam.
ERIC J. CIAK (Ensemble) was seen in last season’s production of Hellcab and returns for 2013. Eric has also worked with Black Sheep Productions and Metropolis Theatre as well as a production of True Blue at Gorilla Tango Theatre.
PATRICK FALCON (Ensemble) makes his Profiles debut with Hellcab. He recently composed and co-wrote an original piece The Cape in partnership with ArtsSpring, performed by inmates at the Homestead Correctional Institution in Florida. Patrick was most recently seen in The Crownless King at the House Theater.
ALEX FISHER (Ensemble) was last seen at Profiles in their World premiere of In the Company of Men and reprises her role in Hellcab. She is represented by Lily's Talent Agency and is a student at the Second City Conservatory. Alex was also seen recently in Good Thing with The Poor Theatre.
LJ FLORA (Ensemble) is excited to return to Profiles Theatre in Hellcab. As an actress in Chicago, she has been seen in several short films and local commercials. Some of her favorite roles include Gertrude in Hamlet, Daphne Pardoe in Late Flowering, Goneril in King Lear and Susy Hendrix in Wait Until Dark.
JEFF GAMLIN (Ensemble) returns to ride the cab again after recently substituting for Darrell W. Cox in The Dream of the Burning Boy and understuding John Judd in Wrecks at Profiles. Credits elsewhere include Redtwist Theatre’s Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf? Jeff appears next in The Diary of Anne Frank at Metropolis Performing Arts Centre.
CARLY JO GEER (Ensemble) returns to the Profiles stage with this second coming of Hellcab. Most recently, she was seen on the Second City stage performing in The Improvised Musical La Ronde. She is a recent graduate of Columbia College and is excited to continue her Chicago theatre career.
PHILENA GILMER (Ensemble) returns to Hellcab for 2013. She is a company member of the Organic Theatre having recently performed in Caligula, Rhinoceros and Theophilus North. Prior to moving to Chicago, Philena was a Barter Player in Virginia. Her favorite past credits include Butterflies are Free, Crimes of the Heart and The Glass Menagerie.
DESMOND GRAY (Ensemble) reprises his role from Profiles’ production of Hellcab last season. He was most recently seen in The Misanthrope and Tartuffe at Court Theatre. Desmond has also worked for Goodman, The Inconvenience, TimeLine, Bailiwick Chicago and Theatre Seven of Chicago, where he serves as an artistic associate.
MEGAN HICKEY (Ensemble) returns to Profiles Theatre, this time on their Main Stage. Megan first appeared with Profiles in their long-running hit production of Popcorn at their original home, now the Alley Stage. Megan has also appeared in the independent films Apples and Oranges and Watch.
KHALIL LESALDO (Ensemble) returns to Profiles Theatre after appearing in last season’s productions of Hellcab and After. Other Chicago credits include Predator: The Musical, Plus Sized and The Mutant Fly. Khalil’s favorite Maine credits include Frederick in A Little Night Music, Kragler in Drums in the Night and Orphee in Orphee.
KAITLYN MAJOY (Ensemble) returns for this season’s production of Hellcab. Most recently, she was seen in Profiles’ In The Company of Men, The Hunting of the Snark with Strawdog Theatre and Pains of Youth with Oracle Theatre. Kaitlyn studies with Second City and is a company member of Mozawa.
JACK MCCABE (Ensemble) has appeared in Profile’s 2012 production of Hellcab, Men Of Tortuga and Autobahn. He has also worked with Provision, Strawdog, Steppenwolf, Victory Gardens, A Red Orchid, American Blues Theatre Co., The Gift, Collaboraction, and many others. Jack’s television and film work includes Fox’s TV’s hit series Murder In Small Town X and Christmas Eve at McTavish’s.
CHRISTOPHER MCMORRIS (Ensemble) is returning to Profiles and Hellcab. He has worked with many Chicago companies including St. Martin Rep., MPPACT, National Pastime Theatre, Urban Theatre and ETA. Christopher’s favorite performances include No Child with St. Martin Rep, Runaways with Urban Theatre and Piece Meal Clan with MPAACT. He is also an accomplished writer and his works have been accepted to national theater and film festivals.
STEPHANIE MONDAY (Ensemble) once again appears in Hellcab for Profiles Theatre. She has also worked with Steppenwolf Theatre and Forward Theatre Company in Madison, Wisconsin. Stephanie’s favorite roles include Blanche DuBois in A Streetcar Named Desire and Alexa Vere de Vere in As Bees In Honey Drown.
JOSEPH W. MOORE III (Ensemble) is a senior at Columbia College Chicago returns once again to Hellcab. Since his last ride, he appeared in Neil LaBute’s In the Company of Men with Profiles and Marcus or the Secret of Sweet at Columbia. Joseph is also a collective member of For Youth Inquiry.
TODD NEAL (Ensemble) returns to Hellcab after appearing in the 20th Anniversary production. He was seen in Peyton Place and We Have Always Lived in the Castle at City Lit Theatre and A Matter of Time at the Viaduct. When he isn't doing theater, he's a full time doorman in The South Loop.
DANIELLE PINNOCK (Ensemble) is appearing with Profiles Theatre for the first time. Her recent credits include understudying the role of Lottie in By the Way, Meet Vera Stark at the Goodman Theatre, The Body Image Project, Bette in The Marriage of Bette and Boo in the UK and Off-Broadway for In Conflict with Culture Project.
BRENNAN ROCHE (Ensemble) is back at Profiles with Hellcab after appearing in their production of In The Company of Men as well as understudying The Dream of the Burning Boy. He is a Chicago native and has studied at Piven Theatre Workshop where he was a part of the Young People's Company. Brennan graduated from Loyola Marymount University with credits including The Shape of Things, Proof and The Odd Couple.
SARAI RODRIGUEZ (Ensemble) is returns to Hellcab for the second year in a row. Some of her favorite Chicago credits include The Knowledge with Steep Theatre, Lydia at National Pastime Theater, Knuffle Bunny for Emerald City Theatre, Evita with NightBlue Performing Arts and Blue Nativity for Quest Theatre.
BRIAN SCANNELL (Ensemble) is a new resident to Chicago and makes his Profiles Theatre debut in Hellcab. He was most recently seen in Romeo & Juliet at Midsommer Flight in Chicago. Brian’s other recent credits include Helen at La MaMa Experimental Club and A Class Act at Playwright Horizons, both in NYC.
MIKE SCHIFF (Ensemble) is makes his Profiles Theatre debut. He received his BFA in performance from UIC and just wrapped up filming for Bachelors Grove. His favorite roles include Brick in Time of Your Life and Werner in Full Circle. Mike is currently active in the Second City Conservatory.
SHERIDAN SINGLETON (Ensemble) is back in the cab at Profiles Theatre. She was previously seen in the twelfth run of The Waltzing Mechanic's EL Stories as well as playing sports agent in the original musical The Lockout.
AARON SPENCER (Ensemble) is returns to the cast of Hellcab. He comes from Salt Lake City, Utah where he performed at several theaters and studied theatre at the University of Utah.
ELISE SPOERLEIN (Ensemble) is returns to Hellcab for this year’s production. Her credits include Otello at Lyric Opera, EL Stories and Kate’s Dates with Waltzing Mechanics, Big Love at Strawdog, La Ronde at Stage 773, The Promise with side project as well as an acting intern at Simon Casting. Elise has assistant directed three shows at Profiles and is also their Assistant Literary Manager.
TARA TISCH-WALLACE (Ensemble) makes her Profiles Theatre debut with Hellcab. Since moving from the D.C. area, she has enjoyed becoming a part of the thriving theatre community in Chicago. Tara is currently training at Second City’s Music Improv Conservatory and holds her B.F.A. in Theatre Performance from the University of Illinois at Chicago.
RICHARD TRAUB (Ensemble) returns to Profiles Theatre where he was previously seen performing as the understudy for Joe in their production of Bachelorette. He was most recently seen as Chuck in She Kills Monsters at Steppenwolf Theatre and Sollozzo/Clamenza in Commedia Beauregard's production of Corleone: A Shakespearean Godfather.
RACHEL WEEKS (Ensemble) returns to Profiles Theatre for the 2013 production of Hellcab. Her Chicago credits include Art Heist with Abraham Werewolf and multiple collaborations with Redmoon Theater. She is a graduate of Northwestern University.
REGINA WHITEHEAD-MAYS (Ensemble) is making her debut at Profiles and is a graduate of Columbia College Chicago. She has worked on several stages in the city such as ETA, FJT and ATC. Nominated for the 2007 BTAA for Female Lead in Good Black and featured in the Theodore Ward Prize for Black American Playwriting and Best Black Plays in Ma Noah and Etymology of Bird.
JONAH WINSTON (Ensemble) is making his Profiles Theatre debut in Hellcab. He is a 2008 graduate of the Butler University Jordan College of the Arts in Indianapolis and Flinders University Drama Center in Adelaide, South Australia. Some of Jonah's favorite roles include Viejo Cactus/49er in Wild Horses, Esteban in Kiss of the Spider Woman, and Antonio in Shakespeare's Twelfth Night.
“Highly Recommended! HELLCAB is a play of which I am congenitally fond. Paul Dillon’s nameless Driver is part everyman and part neurotic and, just as importantly, a man who needs others and is terrified by them. It's quite the tour de force of physical comedy, and it is both hilarious and poignant throughout. Even if you have paid your fare for HELLCAB many times before, Dillon's definitive performance is well worth another flag drop!”
-Chris Jones, CHICAGO TRIBUNE
“Highly Recommended! Darrell W.Cox's terse, intelligent revival of Will Kern's dark comedy shows why it was such a lasting hit. Each charged encounter between Kern's long-suffering cab driver and his many quirky, sometimes disturbed customers crackles with wit. But the play's more than a series of funny scenes; taken as a whole, it's a moving spiritual journey about a man trying to find a glimmer of redemption in a fallen world. Paul Dillon is nothing short of astounding and he's surrounded by a huge ensemble of supporting actors all of whom perform with the focused commitment that this brilliant, intense little play demands!”
-Jack Helbig, CHICAGO READER
“Recommended! Paul Dillon's unnamed driver is easily identifiable, a particular type of well-meaning crank, and he's eminently watchable. Profiles assigns each of Hellcab's fares to a distinct actor, adding up to a total cast of 34 and making this production a nice showcase of sorts for a great many, mostly younger Chicago actors for Dillon to play off of. With his very funny but particularly neurotic delivery, we can't help but call shotgun!”
-Kris Vire, TIMEOUT CHICAGO
“Highly Recommended! HELLCAB is red meat for Profiles—weird, profane, intense, sexy, and loaded with black humor. The mood ranges from farce to near tragic, the sinister and the menacing competing with the comic and occasionally, the poignant. The audience should be content with the play’s high entertainment quotient. The play’s motor never stops running, and the fast pace and rapid mood shifts keep the viewer continually involved!”
-Dan Zeff, CHICAGOLAND THEATER REVIEWS
“Highly Recommended! HELLCAB is back for another run in the Windy City and it’s always welcome. Both a tribute to all cab drivers who have to deal with crazy people all day and a little love letter to Chicago in general, playwright Will Kern’s HELLCAB takes audiences for a ride through the city they won’t soon forget.
Dillon reprises his role and brings the needed humanity to this character while also giving the show its funniest moments. With a cast this big in such a small space, Cox manages to bring out the most from every single ensemble member offers audiences this year a very different kind of holiday show. Poignant, funny, intense, clever, and above all genuine!"
-Patrick Dyer, CHICAGO THEATER BEAT
“Highly Recommended! What Will Kern has done so brilliantly with HELLCAB is to distill these moments into a single ‘day in the life’ of one hapless, naive Chicago cab driver on a blustery cold Christmas Eve. HELLCAB flickers briskly through the lives of the many colorful travelers, their tragedies and triumphs, their banal and their profound. In his updated take (a remount of last year’s production), director Cox has taken a far more daring approach by bringing in 34 distinct actors, some who inhabit the stage for only a few minutes. It gives the entirety a scale appropriate to its theme. Take this rewarding journey!”
-Clint May, CHICAGOCRITIC.COM
“Highly Recommeded! An incredible job by Dillon, who truly makes you feel that he has been out there on the streets himself. This is truly an ensemble piece with 33 cast members and it is a story that gets into the heart and soul of the cab driver. The stories are told in brief snippets well choreographed by Darrell W. Cox. If you have seen this before, you’ll want to revisit this new version of Christmas 1992- if you have never experienced HELLCAB, now is the time!”
-Al Bresloff, AROUND THE TOWN
Profiles' Flex Pass makes a perfect Holiday gift for a loved one or yourself! Our Two Show Flex Pass gives you 4 admissions to see our next two critically acclaimed plays: GIDION'S KNOT by Johnna Adams and COCK by Mike Bartlett. Your 4 admissions can be used in any combination of quantity and date for either production through April 6, 2014 with advance reservations. The 4 ticket pass is only $100 and saves up to $60 off the price of tickets at the door. Call the box office at 773-549-1815 for more information.
Our intimate theatre, located just north of Wrigleyville, is conveniently located one block west of Lake Shore Drive, the Red Line at the Sheridan El stop, and numerous bus routes.