Heat Wave: the play
Based on Eric Klinenberg’s Heat Wave: A Social Autopsy of Disaster in Chicago, a new play by Steven Simoncic looks at the 1995 heat wave that hit the city of Chicago with 106 degree temperatures and caused the deaths of over seven hundred people—one of the deadliest disasters in Chicago’s history. Reviewing the play for the Chicago Sun-Times theater critic Heidi Weiss writes:
Mayor Daley is known to be an avid theatergoer. But it’s unlikely that he, or City Council members, or a slew of officials from major city agencies who were on the job during the summer of 1995, will be stopping in at Pegasus Players in the coming weeks to catch Heat Wave. If they do, they will be subjected to a most uncomfortable two hours.
As for everyone else, this world premiere (produced with Live Bait Theater) will serve as a vivid reminder of a moment when (a decade before Hurricane Katrina) both municipal government and that far more diffuse thing that might be termed “the human safety net” failed miserably.