Three-Minute Record: Steep Ensemble Members Perform Carl Sandburg’s “Chicago”

Like all our 250-some Chicago theaters, nothing’s on stage at Steep Theatre, that fine inventive company on Berwyn that, appropriately, used to be a grocery store. It’s one of those classic Chicago theater stories. During the last year, Steep staged the scifi horror play, Pomona; a story of humans from an animal point of view in First Love Is the Revolution; Mosquitoes, set at the Hadron Collider in Switzerland; and The Leopard Play, about family life on the US/Mexican border. Each one an intriguing, sometimes thrilling, evening of theater

Now with nothing on stage, Steep ensemble members recorded their own version of Carl Sandburg’s iconic poem, “Chicago,” for their friends and subscribers during the pandemic intermission. Here it is. Direct from wherever each one is sheltering in place. Three and a half minutes of poetry and even teethbrushing.

“Three-minute record” is an allusion to “No Surrender” by Bruce Springsteen, which begins, “We busted out of class had to get away from those fools. We learned more from a three minute record than we ever learned in school.”

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Nancy S Bishop

Nancy S. Bishop is publisher and Stages editor of Third Coast Review. She’s a member of the American Theatre Critics Association and a 2014 Fellow of the National Critics Institute at the Eugene O’Neill Theater Center. You can read her personal writing on pop culture at, and follow her on Twitter @nsbishop. She also writes about film, books, art, architecture and design.

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