The Tony Award-winning dramatic comedy 'Bus Stop' will be presented by the College of Lake County Theatre department on Nov. 8, 9, 14, 15 and 16 at 7:30 p.m. and Nov. 10 at 2 p.m. The play was written by William Inge and is directed by Thomas B. Mitchell.
The play tells the story of what happens when a bus full of strangers are stranded outside of Kansas City and must spend the night together in a roadside diner. At the center of it all is Bo, a headstrong, lovesick cowboy and Cherie, the nightclub singer he is determined to marry. Through laughter, friendship and heartache, the eight weary travelers get to know each other and themselves a little better in this touching American classic.
The play premiered on Broadway in 1955, soon after Inge's first Broadway success, "Picnic." The 1956 film was based loosely on the play and starred Marilyn Monroe in the role of Cherie.
"This period piece has universal appeal because of its strong characters," said Mitchell. "Like some modern TV shows such as 'Friends' and 'How I met Your Mother,' we all know people with these character traits and can relate easily to them. These people embody all of humanity."
The interesting cast of characters who get to know each other's foibles and challenges include Grace Hoylard, owner of the diner (Hannah Shepherd of Antioch); Elma Duckworth, an intelligent but naive high school girl and waitress (Nina Wilson of Grayslake); Will Masters, the local sheriff (John Stergiou of Gurnee); Dr. Gerald Lyman, a college philosophy professor who drinks too much and enjoys the company of young women (Ned Ricks of Gurnee); Cherie, an aspiring nightclub singer (Emilia Dvorak of Long Grove); Bo Decker, a brash young cowboy (Connor Rudynski of Lindenhurst); Virgil Blessing, an older, wiser cowboy/father figure to Bo (Michael Dvorak of Long Grove); and Carl, the flirtatious bus driver (Arthur Zdrinc of Hainesville)
The ensemble cast includes father and daughter, Michael and Emilia Dvorak, who have appeared together in six CLC productions. Michael has taught general music for the past 24 years in the Round
Lake School District, and Emilia is a sophomore CLC theatre student who plans to transfer to Illinois State University to study theatre in 2014.
At age nine, Emilia first appeared on the CLC stage in "The Magician's Nephew," directed by Mitchell. Her other roles have included Rebecca Gibbs in "Our Town" in 2004, Jess in "Shakespeare Unabridged" and Bet in "Oliver!" in 2011. For the roles of Marvalyn and Rhonda in "Almost, Maine," Emilia was nominated for a 2012 Kennedy Center American College Theater Irene Ryan award.
Michael has appeared in such diverse CLC roles as Herod in "Jesus Christ Superstar," Charles Webb in "Our Town," Max Detweiler in "The Sound of Music" and Caldwell B. Cladwell in "Urinetown." The Dvoraks have also acted together at the Bristol Renaissance Faire and are members of the Hanlon Lees Action Theatre Wild West Show.
The play will be held in the Studio Theatre of the James Lumber Center for the Performing Arts. Tickets: Regular $10; CLC/Senior/Teen/JLC Subscribers $8. Special price tickets: Buy one, get one free on Nov. 8 and 14. This offer is not available online. The Box Office is open Monday through Friday, 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. and 90 minutes prior to each performance. College theatre performances make excellent group outings, and groups of six or more people are eligible for discounted ticket prices. Call group sales at (847) 543-2431 or email JLCgroupsales@clcillinois.edu for more information. To request sign language interpreting, please contact the Box Office two to three weeks in advance at (847) 543-2300.