Bill Rancic Defends His Wife Giuliana After Fashion Police Controversy: 'I Tried to Get Them to Release the Footage' 41 years, 2,189 covers and 55,436 stories from PEOPLE magazine's history for you to enjoy
- John Krasinski and Emily Blunt Want to Give Daughter Hazel a Sibling: 'We've Got to Give Her Some Competition at Some Point'
- Read the Cover Story: Meet the American Heroes Who Stopped French Train Attack
- Sarah Palin Interviews Donald Trump as They Express Their Admiration for One Another
- Sheriff's Deputy Shot and Killed at Texas Gas Station
- Andy Samberg Predicts Bryan Cranston Will Streak at Emmys in New Promo
On Newsstands Now
- Matthew McConaughey: In His Own Words
- Jessa Duggar's Wedding Album
- Brittany Maynard's Final Days
Pick up your copy on newsstands
Click here for instant access to the Digital Magazine
People Top 5
LAST UPDATE: Tuesday February 10, 2015 01:10PM EST
PEOPLE Top 5 are the most-viewed stories on the site over the past three days, updated every 60 minutes
- October 03, 1988
- Vol. 30
- No. 14
A Powerful Staging of Steinbeck's the Grapes of Wrath Puts the Spotlight on a Company Called Steppenwolf
Then in 1986, Elaine was offered what appeared to be the ideal setting for her jewel. Chicago's Steppenwolf Theatre Company wanted to adapt the novel. Having seen and admired several of their productions, Elaine thought it would be "the perfect marriage." By giving her permission, Steinbeck's widow was formally acknowledging what theater buffs have known for years: Steppenwolf, famous for its rowdy, rough-edged productions of such innovative dramas as Sam Shepard's True West, is the cream of this country's regional theater crop. With the Sept. 18 debut of their epic $500,000 production of The Grapes of Wrath—directed by Frank Galati—the remarkable company is hitting the big time in a big way. The three-hour show, subsidized partly by AT&T, boasts a cast of 41, a folksy musical score and an ingenious set, complete with fire and rain.
Meanwhile, Steppenwolf is about to begin construction on a new $3 million theater. "Yeah, it's all coming together at once," says Gary Sinise, 33, one of three young actors who started the company 14 years ago in a Unitarian church in suburban Highland Park. While Sinise was preparing for the role of Tom Joad in Wrath, he was also promoting his first Hollywood movie, Miles from Home, in which he directs Richard Gere and Steppenwolfer Kevin Anderson. (Five other company members have minor roles.)
A self-described suburban hoodlum, Sinise got his first taste of acting in a high school production of West Side Story. "Me and my greaser friends stormed into the auditions and demanded parts," he says. Skipping college, he linked up in 1974 with Terry Kinney and Jeff Perry of the Illinois State University theater program and began perfecting a brash, electric style of ensemble acting.
Working with a small budget, Steppenwolf incubated some remarkable talent: Joan (Tucker) Allen, who won a 1987 Tony for Broadway's Burn This, playing opposite Steppenwolf colleague John (Making Mr. Right) Malkovich; John Mahoney, who shines in Eight Men Out; Laurie Metcalf, the harpy in Desperately Seeking Susan, who will appear on comedienne Roseanne Barr's new ABC show this fall.
How Steppenwolf's latest effort will fare remains to be seen. "Flawless," pronounced the Chicago Sun-Times after Wrath's debut. "Sluggish," sniffed the Chicago Tribune. But one critic, at least, can hardly contain her delight. "It was beyond my wildest dreams," says Elaine Steinbeck, who flew in from New York for opening night. "I was weeping, because I wanted John there. He would absolutely have loved it."
—By Kim Hubbard, with Barbara Kleban Mills in Chicago
August 29, 2015
Treat Yourself! 4 Preview Issues
The most buzzed about stars this minute!