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Steppenwolf, Rapper Common Honored At Millennium Park Monday Night

By Ted Cox | August 28, 2017 5:55am
 Laurie Metcalf and John Malkovich in Sam Shepard's
Laurie Metcalf and John Malkovich in Sam Shepard's "True West," the first Steppenwolf production to go to New York, in 1982.
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Steppenwolf Theatre

RANCH TRIANGLE — Steppenwolf Theatre is among those to be celebrated in the city's fourth annual Fifth Star Honors Monday evening at Millennium Park.

Steppenwolf will be honored along with internationally renowned Chicago-based architect Jeanne Gang, Chicago-born Grammy and Oscar-winning rapper/actor Common and Chicago painter and MacArthur "genius award" recipient Kerry James Marshall.

"I am proud to honor these organizations and artists, who bring Chicago to the rest of the world and the world to Chicago,” said Mayor Rahm Emanuel when the honorees were first announced in May. “Their work has changed and enhanced our city, and they have inspired and mentored new generations of artists who call Chicago home."

Some 25 "Rising Star" youth honorees will be celebrated as well.

The event, free and open to the public, is set for 6:30 p.m. Monday at the Pritzker Pavilion. The Yard Theater, the Gift Theater and the Second City will be among those performing bits from Steppenwolf productions and in honor of its 40-year history, in the style of the national Kennedy Center Honors.

In addition, an all-star group of musicians including Dee Alexander, Kelly Hogan and Nora O'Connor will perform.

"The Fifth Star Honors will be an exciting show featuring artists who have been influenced by this year’s honorees with dynamic performances that include music, spoken word, dance and even a few surprises,” said Mark Kelly, commissioner of the Department of Cultural Affairs and Special Events.

Formed in 1976, Steppenwolf established a style of physical, visceral, acting-driven theater, ranging from Sam Shepard's "True West," starring John Malkovich and Gary Sinise, who also directed, to Tracy Lett's Pulitzer Prize-winning "August: Osage County" and beyond.

The Fifth Star Honors were created three years ago, and previous winners include Lou Conte of Hubbard Street Dance, folk singer Ella Jenkins and, last year, blues singer and guitarist Buddy Guy and the Second City.