"In our December 2008 issue, Tracy Letts declared Chicago “the best city for an American playwright.”
CARRIE COON AND TRACY LETTS
STEPPENWOLVES. CREATORS. THESPIANS. AWARD WINNERS.
Pulitzer Prize-winning playwright Tracy Letts once told CS that, in terms of his favorite local restaurant, he was “more of a Portillo’s Italian Beef guy.” It was such a Chicago response that even though Letts and his Tony Award-nominated wife, Carrie Coon, now travel for work most of the year, we still consider them our own. After all, the duo’s work with Steppenwolf Theatre arguably catapulted them onto the national stage. Letts’ award-winning plays, August: Osage County and The Minutes, both had their premieres at Steppenwolf. Yet another of his plays, Linda Vista, hits Broadway this month. Coon and Letts both starred in a Steppenwolf production of Who’s Afraid of VirginiaWoolf? that ultimately transferred to Broadway and scooped up three Tony Awards in 2013. It was only the third Chicago production to feature Coon. Since then, you’ve likely seen her on screen, thrilling us as Proxima Midnight in Avengers: Infinity War or breaking our hearts into tiny pieces as Nora in HBO’s The Leftovers. Earlier this year, Coon made it what she dubs “Facebook official” with Steppenwolf, formally joining the ensemble (Letts has been a member since 2002). “I finally earned something in Chicago,” she jokes. Beyond the stage, their favorite Chicago haunts have changed slightly since the birth of their son, Haskell— the Bucktown library is a particular favorite—but some things stay the same. “We usually spend our wedding anniversary, if we’re together, at the Athenian Room,” she says. A worthy tradition, we think. If you’ve missed them too much, not to fear. They’ll be back in the spotlight this January when Letts’ paranoia-drenched play Bug gets its Steppenwolf debut— with Coon as part of the cast.