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Beckett Protege Rick Cluchey to Perform at Shattered Globe

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Rick Cluchey, one of the great interpreters of the work of Samuel Beckett, who was in some ways mentored by the playwright, will join forces with the ensemble of Shattered Globe Theatre, to present eight performances (May 1-12) of "An Evening of Beckett: 'Krapp's Last Tape' and 'Sam and Rick'."

Born in Chicago in 1933, Cluchey, who was sentenced to life in the San Quentjn State Prison prison for robbery and kidnapping, was doing time when he saw a visiting production of Beckett's "Waiting for Godot" and decided, along with fellow prisoner Kenneth Whelan to found the San Quentin Drama Workshop.

After his sentence was commuted, Cluchey toured Europe with his play "The Cage," and began his seven-year collaboration with Samuel Beckett, serving as the playwright's assistant director on a production of "Waiting for Godot" in Berlin. Cluchey eventually persuaded Beckett to direct him in "Krapp's Last Tape" and "Endgame" - stagings he later remounted around the world. (In decades past he performed Beckett at both the Goodman Theatre and Victory Gardens.)

Cluchey will perform the solo "Krapp's Last Tape," about a man looking back at his life as he listens to old reel-to-reel tapes, as well as his own solo piece, "Sam and Rick," in which he shares his personal experiences with the legendary Irish playwright, interspersing his monologues with media elements, and using footage of prior productions and private moments with the playwright to weave together an "expression of life before and with Beckett."

The two one-acts will be performed at Stage 773, 1225 W. Belmont. Tickets ($28) go on sale April 1 at www.shatteredglobe.org or by calling the Stage 773 Box Office at (773) 327-5252.

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Mr. Cluchey's performance was , once again, brilliant! I've been to his appearances here in town on several other occasions throughout the years and he's always been inspiring. For over 40 years,I've been a Beckett enthusiast; Sam, like Bach, Mozart, Beethoven, Schubert, Emily Dickinson, van Gogh, (and also , in a way, Franz Kline) is one of the top influences in my life. Rick Cluchey is one of my heroes, too. I hope he will continue lecturing, writing and acting; he really deserves some honorary graduate degrees for his many contributions to society and the fine arts. Thank you for writing the fine review. All best wishes, Tom

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