So it turns out that the last-minute audition for that paying theatre gig came through for me. I got the call over the weekend, and our first read-through is this coming weekend. It's kind of odd — I'm in that stage of "what have I committed to?" that follows casting and precedes actual rehearsals.
Apparently only 2 people were seen for my role, which is a pretty major character. I arrived early at the audition and, since the director did too, he saw me before my appointed time. I felt like it went pretty well — I maybe talked too much, but the writer/director somehow had the mistaken impression that I was primarily an improv actor, and I felt like I needed to set the record straight. Then I go to leave, and who should walk in the door but a very well-known Chicago actor. By "well-known" I mean someone who has name recognition within Chicago from appearances at Steppenwolf, Second City, Goodman, one-man shows, and/or multiple Jeff awards. (This, in fact, perfectly describes the actor who vacated the role we were auditioning for.) So I figured I was sunk.
Well, for all I know, I was. The part may have been offered to this other guy first, but he turned it down. Regardless, the role is mine now, so I guess my evenings are taken now through July.