Writers Michael Ignatieff and Tom Perrotta continue the struggles of brothers Ben and Mike Rezendes and their journalism colleague Sacha Pfeiffer, depicted in Tom McCarthy’s Oscar-winning Spotlight, and their supervisor Marty Baron, in a new series of plays opening on Broadway in February.
Welcome to Current Events, a joint effort between Steppenwolf Theatre Company and Chicago Public Radio’s WBEZ, introduces the twins in a world where the pressure to produce the story of the century is unprecedented. “I’m thinking to myself, I have never been more fearful of my career,” Mike Izendes laments in his brief opening monologue, describing how he and Rezendes dealt with pressure from former paper owner Publisher Len Downie and his lieutenant Michael Rooney to locate the person (Tom McCarthy recalls being “just about the most terrified of all actors.”)
For Mike, the pressure may have its roots in the 1972 Pulitzer Prize-winning story they were writing about Anita Hill, when the Supreme Court nominee Clarence Thomas went on the attack, claiming, among other things, that they had written about his wife’s history of cocaine use to get himself into the Senate. “We do the worst thing to a woman who was raped. We destroy her credibility,” the younger Mike Izendes observes.