Ronnie Marmo as Lenny Bruce. (Doren Sorell)

Local legend Joe Mantegna is directing “I’m Not a Comedian… I’m Lenny Bruce” starring Ronnie Marmo as the comedian who took a bullet for anyone who values free speech. Marmo also directs and stars in “Bill W. and Dr. Bob,” the true story of the dramatic founding of Alcoholics Anonymous.

Ronnie Marmo as Lenny Bruce. (Photo by Doren Sorell)

Directed with just the right balance of the sacred and the profane by Joe Mantegna, Ronnie Marmo’s show, “I’m Not a Comedian ... I’m Lenny Bruce,” is a seamless weave of excerpts from Bruce’s acts along with original material that deftly takes us inside the man’s psyche.

Lenny Bruce, 1961 (Library of Congress)

Lenny Bruce has been called one of the most influential comedians of all time. Joe Montegna and Ronnie Marmo give us a sneak peek into their one-man play about the controversial comedian, which opens this week in Chicago.