Tony had t
5 lifelong friends.
2 turbulent decades.
24 Billy Joel classics.
Spike Manton co-writes
a nostalgic play for
anyone who has ever
taken a family vacation.
Special to the Jewish News
car will rev up riot far from
the audience as it drives
through the center of the
next production at the •
Purple Rose Theatre in Chelsea.
Spike Manton and Tim Clue
steered the vehicle into their new
comedy, Leaving Iowa, which enjoys
its world premiere Jan. 22-March 13,
about one year after it was conceived
as just an idea.
The two writers, who have done
preliminary staging in Illinois, think
Michigan is the right place to launch
their full tale on wheels. It's about a
young man searching for a place to
scatter his late father's ashes, while
finding memories of summers spent
in the back seat of a station wagon on
"I think people in Michigan really
will be attracted to the car moments
because of their relationship with the
automobile," says Manton, 40, a
Chicago morning drive-time radio
personality who also does standup
comedy. "The audience comes to
know the father, who controlled
everything about the car."
Leaving Iowa, ultimately exploring
transitions and goodbyes, brings to
life the experiences of the writers as
Midwesterners growing up in small
towns. The characters are combina-
tions of people they knew in their
"We just started talking about this
idea and jumped right in," Manton
says. "Tim and I met while we were
students at Bradley University in
Peoria and have co-written other
things together. This is the first time
I've worked on a play with Tim, but
it's not the first time Tim has worked
on a play.
"Tim has collaborated on other the-
ater projects and written and directed
his own stuff. Our collaborations have
CORNBELT COMEDY on page 40
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Tickets at the Fisher Theatre box office, ficWlimilar charge-by-phone 248-645-6666, & ticketmaster.com
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