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The second coming of True West

Jon Michael Hill and Namir Smallwood breathe fire into Steppenwolf’s revival.

If you’ve been banging around the Chicago theatrosphere longer than 25 seconds, you know the myth of True West and how Sam Shepard’s bro-ly, brawly mano a mano tale helped the ragtag off-off-Loop Steppenwolf Theatre burst into public consciousness with its 1982 production starring Gary Sinise, John Malkovich, and Francis Guinan. It was the first Steppenwolf show to go to New York, and it helped launch the fabled/cliched “muscular” school of Chicago theater, wherein sweaty working-class guys emoted until furniture broke and real blood ran.…

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