The acting life of Elmhurst resident Michelle Randag has come full circle. Randag grew up in Elmhurst, attending Immaculate Conception, Sandburg Middle and York High School, and she spent some time acting on the District 205 stages growing up. She went off to college at University of Illinois, lived abroad for awhile and finally settled in the San Francisco Bay area for 23 years.
But, as many Elmhurst natives do, she returned to her home town and is living here full time now. Acting, like Elmhurst, never left her blood, and she is preparing for her debut in the Chicago area this month in the Village Theater production of Joined at the Head.
Village Theatre in Glen Ellyn is a tiny, 1800s school house, said Randag, who landed a lead role in the award-winning play written by celebrated New York playwright Catherine Butterfield. Show times are at 8 p.m. Fridays and Saturdays, Oct 18-Nov 9, and 3 p.m. Sundays, Oct 27-Nov 3.
Published in the Best Plays of 1992-93, it’s the story of Maggie Mulroney, who is on a promotional tour for her novel, Joined at the Head. She gets an invitation to visit with her old high school flame, Jim, and his wife, Maggy (with a 'y") played by Randag. Maggie's interactions with Jim and Maggy trigger bouts of uncomfortable self-analyses and awakenings.
The two women strike up an immediate friendship, notwithstanding the total disparity in their characters: Maggie the novelist is intensely self-examining and analytical while Maggy retains a warm and giving response to the world. Maggie acts as the play's narrator from time to time, commenting on the process of her writing, while also shrewdly dissecting her relationship to her former boyfriend's wife.
New York Magazine describes that through her journey, “life and art come fluidly to interact as Maggie’s instinct for the fictitious collides with a new-found yearning to relate to life with the immediacy (of Maggy), her newest, closet friend.”
"Joined at the Head is engagement, which is more than just a fun dessert. It has substance that may help someone re-look at their relationships and own life path. I believe the play is both entertaining and engaging,” Director Craig Berger said. “Jim, Maggie and Maggy help each other see the world as they each see it, and that allows each to accept the new difficult path that they each are on.”
Joined at the Head was performed at the Manhattan Theatre Club in 1992 and won the Robert L. Stevens/Kennedy Center award for excellence.
Tickets are $18 and can be reserved by calling (630) 469-8230. The Village Theatre Guild is Glen Ellyn’s community theatre company located northwest of the intersection of Park Boulevard and Butterfield Road. For more information, visit the VTG at www.villagetheatreguild.org.