Friday, July 11, 2008

Bill Jepsen's Cadillac

Bill Jepsen used to work in the records office of the Chicago Catholic boys high school where I taught years ago. I loved hanging out in the office and talking film with him. He had a million dollar screenplay idea for a movie about Richard Nickel, a photographer dedicated to preserving classic Chicago architecture, especially that of the great Louis Sullivan. Nickel saved the memory of these doomed buildings in his beautiful images and often tried to salvage actual pieces of the architecture as well. He died tragically in 1972, accidentally falling to his death in the ruins of Chicago's Stock Exchange Building. Thanks in part to Nickel's efforts, you can see the preserved trading room of the Stock Exchange Building, designed by Adler and Sullivan, in the Art Institute.

Richard Cahan's 1994 book about Nickel is called, yes, They All Fall Down.

Now Bill has a new play that got rave reviews during its first run at the Chicago Dramatists theater. Cadillac is a story of used car salesman, a story that from the sound of the write-ups is something like Mamet with a conscience. I couldn't get a ticket for the show's first run at Chicago Dramatists, but now there's a second run at the Chicago Park District's Theater on the Lake.

I've got the babysitter booked. More later.

Later. Read my review here.

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