Home / News / “Highway Patrol” at the Goodman Theater Dana Delany’s real Twitter story

“Highway Patrol” at the Goodman Theater Dana Delany’s real Twitter story


Dana Delany insists she is rarely recognized today. Sitting in the corner of a bar in Chicago, she shrugs off any suggestions he makes. He states that he has been wandering around cold Chicago for weeks. He should know.

“I’m currently working with Dot-Marie Jones at Goodman,” he says (Jones played Coach Beiste on “Glee”). “HE is a well-known person. I just stand in the background.

However, People magazine chose Delany as one of the 50 most beautiful people in the world in 1991. Fans of the critically acclaimed, if poorly rated, ABC series “China Beach,” which aired from 1988 to 1991, will recognize her character as Colleen McMurphy. This acting earned him two Primetime Emmy Awards for leading actor in a drama series. There was “Desperate Housewives,” a mystery show also airing on ABC in which Delany played Wisteria Lane’s Katherine Mayfair, the main focus of Season 4. Around 2007, “Desperate Housewives” was one of the most successful TV series in the world, and it is now a huge success: a worldwide audience of nearly 120 million people. This follows from Delany’s medical doctor Dr. Other shows followed, including another show on ABC called “Body of Proof,” in which she played Megan Hunt.

Of course, by the second decade of the 21st century, major TV stars like Delany were expected to have a social media presence and were willing to take to such channels to interact with fans and hype their shows. Delany enthusiastically took to Twitter as ABC requested: “When you’re filming a show,” she said, “there’s a lot of sitting around on set anyway. I’d go on Twitter. People could ask me questions. It was kind of utopian at the time. Twitter was really pretty innocent and egalitarian.” “It was a place.”

So Delany, who is somewhat introverted in real life but naturally friendly, has interacted with fans of “Body of Proof” and all of his previous shows, including one that describes him as a young boy with a serious medical condition. Delany began talking to this fan frequently, tweeting her and sending her direct messages and even emails as time went on; The actress gradually began to be drawn into his troubled life. The tweets literally piled up. “But I had never met this person,” Delany says, a mysterious smile on his lips.

The situation was not as it seemed.

That’s all Delany has to say about the plot of “Highway Patrol,” which has its world premiere at the Goodman next Tuesday; beyond pointing out that this is based on something that actually happened to her. Tweets as proof.

“I actually started telling this story to tell the story,” he said. “I am Irish. I like telling stories. “After that I thought this could be a one-man show.”

But the piece evolved into something structurally more complex than that. Delany co-wrote this piece with playwright Jen Silverman (“Roommate”), whose official name is “Playwright and Script Curator”; the texts were records of Delany’s actual social media activities. There are other actors in the series: in addition to Jones, the cast also includes Thomas Murphy Molony as Cam and, intriguingly, the voice of actor Peter Gallagher. Mike Donahue directs, and overall creator credits include: Donahue, Silverman, designer Dane Laffrey and of course Delany himself.

As is customary in these interviews, Delany insists there are “no plans” beyond Goodman’s production, but he’s a real name and is committed to similarly unconventional (and similarly personal) projects like Lucas Hnath’s. “D-Day” We moved to Broadway. Apparently this could also be a movie or TV show. (The Mark Gordon Company, a Hollywood production outfit, is already involved).

The cat will be out of the bag when “Highway Patrol” opens, and the intricacies of Delany’s Twitter life will likely be much discussed. She says she realized this would happen. But she hopes viewers won’t reveal the mystery and is enjoying the element of surprise for now.

Whatever this is, what lessons can we all learn from this?

To eat. Watch. To do.


What to eat? What to watch? What you need to live your best life… is now.

“I think that says something about our times and the loneliness we all feel,” Delany says.

Delany says he was once described by crime writer James Ellroy as “all outer reach and inner reserve,” a seemingly skillful and closely observed observation.

Or will “Highway Patrol” suggest otherwise?

There’s only one way for Delany fans to find out.

The film, which is in previews, opens Jan. 30 at the Goodman Theatre, 170 N. Dearborn St.; 312-443-3800 and www.goodmantheatre.org

Chris Jones is a Tribune critic.



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