Out of state: Steppenwolf’s LINDA VISTA

From the Moderator:

Illinois residents or for those who will be visiting Chicago, the excellent Steppenwolf Theater has a play currently running that got excellent reviews plus extended male nude scene from Ian Barford. I hope they show this play in NYC.

Reviews from Variety.com:

The stage rotates somewhat awkwardly in the middle of scenes, mostly between the living room and bedroom of Wheeler’s new apartment, where we see a couple of extended nude sex scenes. 

from dailyherald.com:

While director Dexter Bullard’s sex scenes are explicit (this is not a production for those offended by nudity or strong language), so are the emotions these scarred, vulnerable characters express. When everything else is stripped away, they’re left with the truth.

from Chicago tribune:

For better or worse — Wheeler would say worse — the neuroses of the character are the steak course here. This is a comedy, and you have to find at least some of Wheeler’s shtick charming to last through a running time pushing three hours. You may prefer to slap him across the face — or find it hard to contain your annoyance at why we are watching at least three women landing in his thrall. Two are persuaded not just to cavort buck-naked in the bedroom of his bachelor apartment (and the no-holds-barred sex scenes in director Dexter Bullard’s production, all cautionary tales for the young and male, are among its greatest and most depressing pleasures), but to believe in his possibility.

from Northwest Herald: 

Despite delicious humor, there also is nudity, political commentary and continued profanity, but, then again, that’s also Letts, and it’s not gratuitous. Bullard, Letts and the actors give us emotional access to a creatively wondrous new play.


“Linda Vista”

Location: Steppenwolf Theatre, 1650 N. Halsted St., Chicago, (312) 335-1650 or steppenwolf.org

Showtimes: 7:30 p.m. Tuesday through Friday; 3 and 7:30 p.m. Saturday and Sunday through May 21. Also 2 p.m. May 3, 10 and 17; 1:30 p.m. May 21. No shows May 13; no 7:30 p.m. show May 21

Running time: About two hours, 50 minutes with intermission

Tickets: $20-$94

Parking: $11 in the parking garage adjacent to the theater, limited street parking available

Rating: For adults; contains adult language, strong sexual content, sustained nudity


  1. Thanks for the tip, calvin, and I agree with your wait-till-it-comes-to-NY strategy. Incredibly, I saw Ian Barford (married to director Anna D. Shapiro) as Toddy Koovitz in the 2004 Geffen Playhouse production of Take Me Out in LA. Glad to see after all these years he is not nudity averse, unlike so many in today’s newly puritanical theater scene.

  2. False alarm. When Ian Barford faces the audience, they turn out the lights. He also does the towel dance very skillfully, hiding the goods under a towel. There are a few nude scenes and nude women, but it gets a zero for Male Nudity.

  3. I guess it depends on where you sit. From my seat the fourth row on the right, you can definitely see it even though the lighting is not the best. And I think most people in front row can. Anyway it’s an interesting and well acted play. I’m sure it will go to NYC

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