Craig Lucas' acclaimed The Dying Gaul, which recently received high critical praise but a short life at the Vineyard Theatre, will end its five- week return engagement at that Off-Broadway company Oct. 25.
The Dying Gaul drew critical huzzahs from many corners -- including The Wall Street Journal, which called it "the best play of the year." The review in The New York Times, however, was mixed, and the play closed on June 14. Popular demand, however, brought it back on Sept. 18.
"There definitely was enough of a groundswell of support for the play, both critically and from the audience, to justify" bringing it back, said spokesman Sam Rudy (June 17).
Casting was the same in both mountings, with one exception. Last spring, Cotter Smith, originally slated to play a leading role, suffered a back injury and had to be replaced by Tony Goldwyn. Audiences will now get the chance to see the performance Smith was unable to give. The rest of the cast includes Linda Emond (recently in the Williamstown Fest tryout of A.R. Gurney's Mitzi Newhouse-bound Far East), Tim Hopper (Picasso at the Lapin Agile) and Robert Emmet Lunney.
The play may also have a future on the big screen. Lucas' agent Peter Franklin said there has been interest in the movie rights to the drama. Dying Gaul examines the nature of people's responsibility to one another through the tale of a struggling screenwriter who becomes professionally and emotionally compromised by his relationship to a studio boss and his wife.
The show is the third straight Off-Broadway effort by director Mark Brokaw to enjoy an extended life. Both Brokaw's productions of Paula Vogel's How I Learned To Drive and Douglas Carter Beane's As Bees in Honey Drown transferred to open-ended runs at commercial Off-Broadway houses.
Lucas' last play was the poorly received God's Heart. His other works include Blue Window and Prelude To s Kiss.
For information, call (212) 353-3874.
-- By Robert Simonson