Kathleen Chalfant, following her award-winning star turn as Dr. Vivian Bearing in Wit, opens as Calamity Jane in the Vineyard Theatre's True History And Real Adventures Dec. 13. Angela Goethals joins her as Margaret, the young Scottish woman who leads a band of rogue teenagers to the real (and sometimes imagined) Calamity Jane. This world premiere by Sybille Pearson began performances Nov. 19.
Set at the turn of the century, True History traces the path the young woman takes from theatre to World's Fair to the American West as she searches for the truth of the real Calamity Jane. While encountering all the problems of the world, she and her teenaged charges discover that history is nothing more than a myth we create. Pearson was Tony nominated in 1983 for the book to Baby. Other plays include Sarah and Marsha (which starred Christine Baranski and Bernadette Peters) and Unfinished Stories.
Goethels, who has appeared in The Good Times Are Killing Me, Coastal Disturbances and the films "Home Alone" and "Jerry Maguire," is a 1999 graduate of Vassar. Also in the cast are Damon Gupton, Adrienne Carter, Daniel Bess, Donovon Patton, Aleta Mitchell, Wally Dunn, David Alan Bunn and John Gilbert.
Mel Marvin composed the play's score. A composer and producing director at NYU's Tisch School for the Arts' Musical Theatre Program, Marvin co-conceived the Tony-nominated Tintypes and wrote the music for Elmer Gantry. Designing the production are G. W. Mercier (Drama Desk nominee for his set and costume designs for Dream True and Bed and Sofa), Kevin Adams (lighting) and actor Bunn (sound).
Tickets are $45 and can be ordered by calling the Vineyard at (212) 353-0303. True History runs through Jan. 2, 2000.
-- By Christine Ehren