Chicago theater is blessed with a multi-generational, multi-cultural, multi-disciplinary acting pool as deep and rich as any we could imagine anywhere, as well as more than a few who’ve managed to cultivate movie and television stardom without severing their ties to home, for which we are grateful. Fran Guinan is a Chicago actor of the highest order, one of the city’s most familiar faces—especially at Steppenwolf, where he’s been an ensemble member since 1979—whose name on any cast list is a seal of quality. His commanding physical and vocal presence might lead you to expect a certain Guinan style, but his range of work is astounding, from high comedy to understated nuance, from absurdist to gothic realism. Just in the last two years, we’ve seen him play major roles in “The Seagull” at Goodman, “A Guide for the Perplexed” at Victory Gardens and, at Steppenwolf, “Endgame,” “American Buffalo,” “Fake” and “Art.” He also acted in “August: Osage County” and “Grapes of Wrath,” two of Steppenwolf’s most acclaimed productions ever. Like we said, he’s golden.
Best of Chicago 2010