Monday, January 30, 2012


My niece Kristina Valada-Viars just opened in her first play at the Steppenwolf Theatre in Chicago. Reviews were posted last night in the Chicago Tribune, the Chicago Sun-Times, and elsewhere, and I am just so proud of her. The play is Time Stands Still and it runs until mid-May. She's wearing the blue scarf in the photo below. Yes, that's her natural hair (just like her mother's.)

Kristina was an understudy for Steppenwolf's New York production of August: Osage County, which won the Pulitzer Prize and the Tony Award for best new play and garnered a bunch of other Tony Awards. She made her Broadway debut in that show, performing at various times in the three different roles she understudied.
She worked with Austin Pendleton, her director in Time Stands Still, in an off-Broadway play by Romulus Linney called Punch Drunk Love at the end of her run in August: Osage County. In the photograph above, you can see why reviewers call her "leggy" or, sometimes, coltish. She's got legs that go from here to there and back again.

The photographs are publicity stills I pulled down from the Internet. If I knew who took them, I'd be happy to give credit. If the lower one was shot by Joan Marcus, "Hi, Joanie. Do you still have that picture of me with Douglas Fairbanks, Jr. in your files?"

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