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'4000 Miles' to hit St. Charles stage

Steel Beam Theatre to present Pulitzer Prize finalist drama

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RJ Cecott as 21-year-old Leo and JoAnn Smith as 91-year-old Vera rehearse a scene for the play "4000 Miles." The play will be presented at Steel Beam Theatre starting May 18.[]

ST. CHARLES – “4000 Miles,” by Amy Herzog, which was a finalist for the Pulitzer Prize for drama, will be performed at the Steel Beam Theatre in St. Charles.

Larry Boller directs the upcoming play.

“I loved the play,” Boller said. “I loved the dialogue. … I fell in love with it.”

Boller said the plot is about the young character Leo, who bicycled from Seattle to New York City.

He “drops in” on his grandmother.

The audience will learn that the 91-year-old grandmother character is not a stereotypical character.

“She’s outspoken and candid,” Boller said. “She was very progressive in her thinking. She flirted with communism and liked some of the ways that the Cubans’ society is structured. … So, she’s not a typical old lady.”

Boller added that the grandmother does not know why Leo is there, which is part of the play’s reveal.

“As time goes on, they have to get used to living together and learn how an adult child gets along with his grandparent,” Boller said. “That’s a different relationship when the grandchild is an adult.”

There is a total of four cast members and they reside in Hickory Hills, Streamwood, Roselle and Chicago.

RJ Cecott, 25, a Hickory Hills resident, plays the lead character Leo.

“What’s interesting is we first meet Leo right at the beginning of the play,” Cecott said. “He comes off as really aggressive and very closed-minded. … As the play develops, you start to sympathize with him. You start to see where he’s coming from. You see the grief that he’s going through and how he’s trying to deal with it.”

Boller confirmed that the play has lots of laughs. There are some more things to expect from it, too.

“It’s charming,” Boller said. “And it’s surprising.”

Performances run from May 18 to June 10. Shows will be on Fridays, Saturdays and Sundays. Friday and Saturday shows will be held at 8 p.m. and Sunday plays will happen at 3 p.m. Steel Beam Theatre is at 111 W. Main St., St. Charles.

Tickets cost $22 to $28 and can be bought at the door, by calling 630-587-8521 or at steelbeamtheatre.org.