Mike Royko died ten years ago. If you mourn his newspaper column, and if you like getting in on the ground floor of new things, consider making Tuesday a night at the theater. Darryl Warren, a local actor, has concocted a tissue of plot to hang several of Royko's best columns from, and the result, Royko, will be given a public reading at the American Theater Company, 1909 W. Byron. (Here are columns on the Picasso statue and Jackie Robinson that are part of the show.) Gary Houston, a former newspaperman, plays Royko, and the other actors -- Tim Kazurinsky, Will Clinger, Ron Dean, Paul Turner, Ernie Lane, Connie Foster, and Marssie Mencotti -- juggle several roles each. "He's done a lot of work on it," says Royko's widow, Judy, speaking of her friend Warren. "I think originally he was interested in playing Mike, but then he came upon Gary Houston and he was such a perfect fit Darryl decided to recede to the background."
Royko's still pretty raw, and Judy Royko wasn't sure I should mention the 7:30 reading, though it's a formal enough occasion that a $5 donation is suggested. "OK," she said, "as long as they [that means you] understand this isn't a finished product. We're looking for ideas and we want audience participation at the end of it."