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  Hellcab at Profiles Theatre - The Main Stage


Profiles Theatre - The Main Stage
4139 N. Broadway Chicago

Hellcab portrays the story of a cab driver in for the longest night of his life as he transports a bizarre and mysterious array of customers through the gritty streets of Chicago. Playwright Will Kern draws from personal experience as a former cab driver to create this alternately frightening, hilarious and poignant journey. Throughout his long shift, the eclectic collection of passengers includes a trio of drug-addicts, a born-again couple, a smug lawyer, and a randy duo on their way to a motel. Set during a bitter cold Christmas Eve, Hellcab presents a rear-view image mirroring the passing parade of humanity.

Thru - Feb 24, 2013

Thursdays: 8:00pm
Fridays: 8:00pm
Saturdays: 5:00pm & 8:00pm
Sundays: 7:00pm

Price: $35-$40

Show Type: Comedy/Drama

Box Office: 773-549-1815

Running Time: 1hr, 30mins

  Hellcab Reviews
  • Highly Recommended
  • Recommended
  • Somewhat Recommended
  • Not Recommended

Chicago Tribune - Highly Recommended

"...Director Darrell W. Cox's dark, droll, 20th-anniversary production at Profiles Theatre, which is not to missed by lovers of plays about Chicago, understands that the show is, most important, about the struggles of life in the big city and the loneliness and terrors that befall many of its citizens. The plot device is perfectly simple - the play starts with our driver (now played by the perfectly cast Konstantin Khrustov as a Russian immigrant, albeit via Rockford) trying to unfreeze his soul on one of those frigid mornings we're all dreading. We meet his diverse array of fares: couples making out, couples fighting, victims of crimes, possible perpetrators of crimes, chatty types, taciturn souls, alcoholics, lawyers, evangelicals, yuppies, a self-loathing deli owner - you get the idea. Many try to involve their driver, who just wants to get through the day and make a buck, in their crises."
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Chris Jones

Chicago Sun Times - Recommended

"...Director Darrell W. Cox has kept the time period amorphous, with the Driver in a huge, retro, turquoise Ford (far more theatrical than today's hybrid) that would look most at home in Havana. As for the customers, they are a multi-culti cross-section of wackos, losers, louts, snobs and victims. Their pathologies are varied, but Cox allows them to be just a little too relentlessly shrill."
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Hedy Weiss

Chicago Reader - Highly Recommended

"...Director Darrell Cox has assembled 33 actors to play the passengers, so there's no doubling up on roles and no conserving of energies. They all give their characters their all. But the real powerhouse here is Konstantin Khrustov. Though smart and wary, his driver is also vulnerable and-amusingly at certain moments, frighteningly at others-way too dutiful for his own good. It's fun to watch him rise and slump in his seat during the course of the show, like a human barometer registering the state of his fortunes."
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Tony Adler

Windy City Times - Highly Recommended

:...In 2012, you won't hear chuckles in recognition of long-gone neighborhood landmarks like Uptown's Wooden Nickel lounge or Lakeview's Pillar of Fire Evangelical church. Passengers now include a disabled social worker, a cross-dressing chippie (played sensitively by Aaron Holland) and a caroling accordionist. The Old Speakeasy theater's stage makes for longer entrances and exits. Oh, yes, and instead of a seven-member ensemble invoking various personalities in quick-change succession, director Darrell W. Cox has decreed that every character be played by a different actor, bringing the personnel count to a staggering 34 troupers, no more than four of whom are ever onstage at the same time."

Mary Shen Barnidge

Talkin Broadway - Highly Recommended

"...Hellcab follows one day in the life of a Chicago cabbie-Christmas Eve Day, at that-and introduces the audience to 33 passengers and acquaintances he encounters throughout the day. A play requiring a cast of 34 would usually be considered unproduceable for all except school productions unless the actors take on multiple roles, and Hellcab has, according to director Darrell W. Cox, previously been performed by casts of only six actors. The trouble with that approach is it can draw focus to the artistry of the actors rather engage us with the characters themselves. For this production, Cox has cast 34 different actors-one for each role. It makes the play a rich and real-feeling mosaic of recognizable big city characters, but at the same time it's a tribute to this theatre community-one of the few anywhere that could pull off something like this."
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John Olson

Time Out Chicago - Recommended

"...Among a uniformly strong cast of cab patrons are a handful of standouts: Stephanie Monday's nymphomaniac lawyer, Katrina V. Miller's drunk welfare recipient, Maryann Carlson's accordion-playing milkmaid and Aaron Holland's exasperated drag queen. The focal point, Khrustov is at his best as a helpless bystander; when he explodes in rage, his characterization ventures into cartoonish territory, working against the hyper-realistic dialogue. Still, this Hellcab is a ride worth taking."
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Oliver Sava

Chicago On the Aisle - Highly Recommended

"...This is a 20th anniversary revival of "Hellcab," which opened at Chicago's Famous Door Theatre as a late-night show in 1992 and ran for a solid decade. Since then, "Hellcab" has been produced everywhere, usually with half a dozen actors playing all the roles. But profiles has gone all out, trooping 34 actors through fleeting vignettes of hilarity and melancholy, terror and connection."
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Lawrence B. Johnson

Stage and Cinema - Highly Recommended

"...Director Darrell W. Cox, assisted by Eric Burgher and Harmony France, does a fine job of sustaining the show's momentum and keeping the tensions high. No surprises there. This is the kind of show that has elevated the Profiles to its niche as the preeminent purveyor of edgy realistic modern theater in the area. In addition to Renfro's set, the production profits from Mike Durst's atmospheric lighting, Jeffrey Levin's hard rock sound design and original music, and especially Raquel Adorno's eclectic wardrobe of costumes."
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Dan Zeff

Splash Magazine - Highly Recommended

"...A couple of noteworthy things about "Hellcab," now at Profiles Theatre's new Main Stage venue: 1) 34 actors thread their way through the action, a record number for this small company; and 2) the crew managed to move a genuine taxi onto a stage the size of a single parking space. Add those things to an engaging script by Will Kern, astute direction by Darrell W. Cox and an affecting performance by Konstantin Khrustov as the cabbie, and Profiles has a nicely twisted holiday hit on its hands."
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Leanne Star

ChicagoCritic - Highly Recommended

"...Hellcab features terrific work from Konstantin Khrustov as the Russian emigrant driver. Also the sweeping intensity of the cast of 34 players kept the action moving marvelously.Rich in humor, rawness, and eccentric behavior, Hellcab is a ride you'll want to take. I can see why it ran for ten years in Chicago."
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Tom Williams

Chicago Magazine - Highly Recommended

"...Directed by Darrell W. Cox, Hellcab is a supersized remount of a show that had an astounding decade-long run (1992-2002) at the late Famous Door Theatre. During its former life, the Hellcab was a skeletal six actor double- and triple-cast; today, the revamped production boasts a whopping 34-person ensemble. It's not only a logistically ambitious feat-the multi-ethnic ensemble delivers an impressive spectrum of Chicago."
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Catey Sullivan

Chicago Theatre Review - Somewhat Recommended

"...The constant cab driver (Konstantin Khrustov) did a commendable job. He was perfect as the young foreign foible for all the customers and their antics. His energy was superb, although I found him hard to understand at times; maybe it was the accent or maybe the he just seemed to mumble to himself. He was really trying to keep the energy afloat with all that he encountered. Mr. Khrustov was both naive and sweet in many scenes that required his full attention; however, I felt sometimes he was just "playing" a cab driver and taking the "back seat" to the other characters. Overall Mr. Khrustov's performance was strong and we will probably see him moving through the city in other key roles."

Lazlo Collins

Huffington Post - Highly Recommended

"...Hellcab, which follows a lonely, kind-hearted-but-unavoidably-thick-skinned driver (played by the impish Konstantin Khrustov) on a particularly eventful Christmas Eve, is usually staged with an ensemble of six players rotating the colorful fares. In this only-in-Chicago remount, Cox has cast an ensamble of 34 players to hail the Hellcab. Each actor in this 70-minute play gets, maybe, two to five minutes of stage time, and each fearlessly sinks their teeth into their moments to create a series of uniquely memorable vignettes. There's the paranoid drug addict, the horned up couple leaving the holiday party, the woman in labor and her high-strung husband, the sad woman harboring a dark secret, the bickering sisters and a fired up drag queen -- you name it."
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Bob Bullen

  Related Articles

'Hellcab' takes a different direction for Christmas pageant
From Chicago Sun Times
Mary Houlihan

No-Passing Zone: Parking the Taxi for Hellcab
From Theatre In Chicago
Mary Shen Barnidge

  Hellcab Photo Gallery

   This show has been Jeff Recommended*

*The designation of "Jeff Recommended" is given to a production when at least ONE ELEMENT of the show was deemed outstanding by the Joseph Jefferson Awards Committee.

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