'Mary Page Marlowe' lights up Steppenwolf stage

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From infancy to senior, seven women are playing one role as an ordinary Ohio accountant in the play "Mary Page Marlowe". (WLS)

Acclaimed theatre giant and actor Tracy Letts has a new production lighting up the stage at Steppenwolf Theatre in Chicago.

Something unusual is happening on the Steppenwolf stage. From infancy to senior, seven women are playing one role as an ordinary Ohio accountant in the play "Mary Page Marlowe".

"I'm interested in women. I like female characters, they've always baffled me, excited me, infuriated me. And I also feel there hasn't been enough attention paid to female characters," Letts said. "As they've spent time with each other on and off set, these women have started to pick up some of their fellow actresses' mannerisms and speech patterns and so they've become more and more the same person."

Letts gave us "August, Osage County". It went from the Steppenwolf stage to Broadway, earning a Tony and a Pulitzer Prize.

"I'm a Chicago theatre artist, Steppenwolf is my home. We create plays here for our block, our patch of grass. Now once we get it up if somebody's interested and want to take it to New York we love to share our work, we love to be ambassadors," Letts said.

TV, film and stage actress Blair Brown is one of the women playing the title role.

"They encouraged us and we all did come and watch everybody work the whole time. We're building on each other's work no matter which way we're going, looking younger, looking older," Brown said.

For John Belushi fans, Brown will always be remembered as his only romantic comedy co-star in the film "Continental Divide." It was his first love scene.

"Belushi's Chicago was quite an adventure. He was such a sweet man, I adored him - kissed him!" Brown said.

"Mary Page Marlowe" will be running at Steppenwolf through May 29.

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entertainmententertainmentthe artstheaterChicago - Lincoln Park
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