All seemed routine at the Improvised Shakespeare Company show Friday at iO Theatre until the lights went up and there among the cast was Capt. Picard himself, Patrick Stewart.
The distinguished Shakespearean actor, in Chicago for the Official Star Trek Convention, found time to sit in with the all-male group that vamps an entire play, Bard-style, based on an audience suggestion.
On this night, the title was "The Taming of Winnie-the-Pooh," and the British actor -- no doubt familiar with the tales set in England's Hundred Acre Wood -- fell into the role of Christopher Robin. "He was amazing," said iO owner Charna Halpern. "He didn't miss a beat."
By show's end Stewart had slain the evil King Pooh, won the heart of a maiden (played by company regular Blaine Swen) and inhabited four other characters.