New York's stages are in a slump. Now all America's liveliest drama is in Chicago.
Since the late 1960s, when the Off-Loop theatre movement - defined by the city's elevated railway - got under way, Chicago theatre has witnessed an astonishing boom. Today its reputation is bound up with a handful of iconic names: David Mamet, John Malkovich, the Steppenwolf Company and Second City revue, which spawned Mike Nichols, Elaine May, John Belushi and Bill Murray. No fewer than 156 theatre companies, predominantly non-profit, operate in the city. And while New York, with its suffocating commercialism, seems increasingly hidebound, it is to Chicago that the true theatregoer now avidly looks?