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The Next Belushi

When Feldman/Meeker’s production of Bob Woodward’s “Wired,” about the turbulent life and death of John Belushi, goes before the cameras later this month, it’ll be Michael Chiklis portraying the comic. Chiklis, an ’85 Boston U theater grad, who’s worked in regional theater as well as doing stand-up comedy, was cast by director Larry Peerce after a series of readings and tests.

But what about that newcomer, Michael Marx. Wasn’t he gonna play Belushi?

“When Bob Markowitz (the original director) left the project and we hired Larry Peerce late last year, he asked to audition new people,” said producer Ed Feldman. “He saw Michael Marx and liked his work but ultimately felt Chiklis was the strongest candidate for the role.”

Marx told us that he’s putting “Wired” behind him and pressing forward in his career: “I’m auditioning and looking for a new agent.” A grad of Northwestern’s theater department, he was working as an administrator in a computer company when he was spotted by a talent manager while videotaping a wedding. She asked him to come in to her office, and “Wired,” back in October, 1986, was his first audition!

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“I was under contract for about a year and a half,” said Marx. “Initially, I wasn’t allowed to take other work. They sent me to Chicago and Toronto to do research and the whole experience was a real eye-opener. It ended as suddenly as it began. It sounds corny, but I’m trying to be philosophical about it--if it wasn’t meant to be, it wasn’t meant to be.”

Any residual pains?

“The toughest part was making the phone call to tell my Mom.”


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