CHARGING AND GALLOPING: Rhinoceros roared back onto the Manhattan stage scene, bringing with it a brand-new acting troupe who has set up camp at Theatre Four: the Valiant Theatre Company. At the opening-night party at Christer's, Zach Grenier and Peter Jacobson were congratulated by Josh Mostel and Roberta Wallach (the acting offspring of the original Broadway stars of Eugene Ionesco's 1958 antic, Zero Mostel and Eli Wallach). . . .
On the same evening, in another part of the Off-Broadway forest, Full Gallop got off to an open-ended run at the Westside Theatre via a gala benefiting the Scholarship Fund of the CFDA (Council of Fashion Designers of America). Appropriately, Mary Louise Wilson's acclaimed one-woman show on the legendary Vogue editor Diana Vreeland had a highly stylish re-opening. Among the fashion name-plates present: Calvin Klein, Pauline Trigere, Arnold Scaasi, John Anthony, Jeffrey Banks, Kate Spade, Nicole Millerplus such class acts as Bobby Short, Joel Grey, Pat Buckley, Chessy Raynor and Gael Green. Photographs of the real Vreeland decorated Coco Pazzo Teatro at the party following, and guests were so amazed at the uncanny resemblance between the editor and the actress that they thought the photos were stills from the show!
OPEN A NOVA WINDOW: Contrary to the way these things are usually done, Christian Nova took the road and then got his act together. It's called Feather in My Shoean eclectic musical mix about his tour in Phantomand he performed it in October at Don't Tell Mama. . . . Theresa Rebeck, who translated the new Rhinoceros, also had an original on the boards at the same time: View of the Dome at the New York Theatre Workshop. It was topical and timely right down to references to the JFK Jr. nuptials. . . .
Justin Kirk skipped the wrap party for the Love! Valour! Compassion! film so he could catch a Kiss concert, then went the next day into rehearsal with Hal Robinson for their heavy-duty hit at the Promenade, Jon Marans's Old Wicked Songs. The dramaand Jon Robin Baitz's A Fair Countryfinished second to Rent for the last Pulitzer Prize. . . .
Two flights above the Promenade, at The Second Stage, you'll find Douglas McGrath (left), the erstwhile screenwriter (Woody Allen's Bullets Over Broadway collaborator) and adapter-director (of Jane Austen's Emma). Now, he's a Political Animal (i.e., a stand-up comedian/observer-of-our-times).-- By Harry Haun