For five seasons, Melissa Leo played a detective on TV's Baltimore-based "Homicide." Now Leo has come back to Baltimore in Center Stage's production of Paula Vogel's Pulitzer-winner, How I Learned To Drive. She's joined by soap star Dennis Parlato ("Loving"), alongside Caitlin O'Connell, Mary Bacon and Brian Keane. Author Vogel is a Baltimore native.
Drive follows the unsteady, unhealthy relationship between a young girl and her alcoholic uncle. The Off-Broadway show that nabbed Lucille Lortel, Drama Desk, Obie and NY Drama Critics Circle Awards for Best Play finishes its scheduled run at Center Stage's Pearlstone Space, June 7, after starting previews May 8 and opening May 13.
After 15 months and 450 performances, Paula Vogel's Pulitzer Prize winning comedy/drama, How I Learned To Drive, ended its acclaimed Off-Broadway run Apr. 19. The show first opened at the Vineyard Theatre Feb. 26, 1997 and then moved to the Century Theatre across the street, May 6.
Vogel's latest play, The Mineola Twins, was produced at Perseverance Theatre in Alaska and will be staged by Roundabout Theatre Company for a Broadway production in the 1998-99 season. Here is Vogel's "Who's Who" listing from the NY Drive Playbill: "Paula Vogel's plays have been performed at theatres such as the Lortel Theatre and Circle Repertory in New York, the American Repertory Theatre, the Goodman, the Magic Theatre, Center Stage and Alley Theatre as well as throughout Canada, England, Brazil and Spain. The Baltimore Waltz won the Obie for Best Play in 1992 and her anthology, The Baltimore Waltz and Other Plays, has been published by TCG. Other plays include Hot and Throbbing, Desdemona, And Baby Makes Seven, and The Oldest Profession. Other awards include the AT&T New Plays Award, the Fund for New American Plays, the Rockefeller Foundation's Bellagio Center Fellowship, several National Endowment for the Arts Fellowships, and the McKnight Fellowship. She is a member of New Dramatists. Her new play, The Mineola Twins was in production at Trinity Repertory, Feb. 28-Mar. 23, in Providence, RI. She is currently developing her screenplay, The Oldest Profession, with Fred Berner, Joanne Zippel and Olympia Dukakis. How I Learned to Drive was made possible by the generous support of the John Simon Guggenheim Foundation and the Pew Charitable Trust Senior Residency Award."
For tickets and information on the Center Stage season, please call (410) 332-0033 or check out their website at http://www.centerstage.org
With 12,604 subscribers in tow, Baltimore's Center Stage concludes its 35th season, one that has mainly been dedicated to women playwrights and authors born in Maryland.
-- By David Lefkowitz