For its 1998-99 season opener, New York's Vineyard Theatre will present Laura Cahill's new play Mercy. Cahill's tale of four young New Yorkers will begin previews Nov. 24, open Dec. 9 and run through Dec. 26. Loretta Greco, who staged Gross Indecency at PlayMakers Repertory in Chapel Hill, NC, will mount the work.
Mercy follows the loves and adventures of Sarah, a documentary filmmaker; her best friend, Isobel; South Jersey cowboy Bo; and doctor cum-novelist Stu. Together, the four fall in and out of love with their lives and each other.
Cahill is also the author of Hysterical Blindness and the one-act Home, which was produced at Ensemble Studio Theatre.
Marianne Hagan, Matt Keeslar, Tristine Skyler and Adam Trese will play the four striving urbanites. Hagen has appeared in Douglas Carter Beane's The Country Club at the Long Wharf Theatre. Skyler acted in Tom Noonan's Wang Dang Off-Broadway. Kessler's film work includes "The Last Days of Disco" and "Waiting for Guffman." And Trese is a veteran of the Broadway revival of A View from the Bridge.
For information, call (212) 353-3874. *
In other Vineyard news, the recent return engagement of Craig Lucas' acclaimed The Dying Gaul broke box office records at the theatre, including those held by the tremendously successful Paula Vogel drama, How I Learned to Drive. The Dying Gaul, which first ran at the Vineyard last spring before returning Sept. 18-Oct. 25, played to six weeks of SRO, sold-out houses.
The 1998-99 season will also feature new plays by Nicky Silver (Raised in Captivity, The Food Chain ), as well as a new musical from Tina Landau (Floyd Collins ) and composer Ricky Ian Gordon.
Silver's plays have long been showcased at the Vineyard, from Pterodactyls to The Maiden's Prayer. The new work, The Eros Trilogy (running Dec. 1998-Jan. 1999), will be directed by longtime Silver interpreter David Warren.
The Landau-Gordon musical, Dream Life: My Life with Vernon Dexter will follow in March 1999. The project will mark a rare foray into theatre for Gordon, who is primarily known for his classical music. Details on the plots of the above plays are to come.
-- By Robert Simonson