The Dying Gaul, Craig Lucas' new play at NY's Vineyard Theatre, has set its new opening date, May 31, with new lead actor Tony Goldwyn. Best known for his role in filmdom's Ghost, Goldwyn replaced Cotter Smith, who hurt his back May 8.
Smith's herniated disc forced the show to cancel all its performances beginning May 8 and including the intended opening night, May 12. Performances resumed May 21. Goldwyn's theatre credits include The Sum of Us, Encores!' Lady in the Dark and Circle in the Square's Holiday.
Asked how the cast and crew reacted to the news of Smith's injury, Rudy replied, "There's a lot of zen philosophy informing the play, so when something like this happens it helps to take this approach. It's frustrating, of course, but what can one do?"
As for the play itself, Dying Gaul tells of sex, money and Hollywood -- themes that have driven dozens of plays, from Hurlyburly to The Road To Nirvana to Speed-the Plow to Four Dogs and a Bone to Mizlansky/Zilinksy. Gaul dissects L.A. with its story of a struggling writer hoping he won't have to sell his soul to get his screenplay made into a movie. Mark Brokaw directs this world premiere at Off-Broadway's Vineyard Theatre.
Brokaw's been on a hot streak, what with Paula Vogel's Pulitzer Prize winning How I Learned To Drivewhich recently played the Century Theatre Center, and As Bees In Honey Drown, still running at the Lucille Lortel. Lucas' last play was the poorly received God's Heart, but his other works include Blue Window and Prelude To A Kiss. Starring in Dying are Tim Hopper (More Stately Mansions, Picasso at the Lapin Agile), Robert Emmet Lunney (Dancing At Lughnasa), Cotter Smith (How I Learned To Drive) and Linda Emond (1776). Designing the show are Allen Moyer (set), Christopher Akerlind (lighting), Jess Goldstein (costumes) and David Van Tieghem (sound).
In addition to this mainstage production, the Vineyard season will also include two developmental lab production Dream True: A Life with Vernon Dexter and Creation of Humanoids.
Dream True, due for a staged workshop in June, is a music-theatre piece chronicling the friendship of two young men over several decades in America. The project will reteam director/co-writer Tina Landau (Floyd Collins) with opera composer/songwriter Ricky Ian Gordon (The Tibetan Book of the Dead, Only Heaven); their most recent collaboration, Stonewall: Night Variations, was produced outdoors at Pier 25 in New York in 1994.
Creation is Laurence Klavan's stage adaptation of the film of the same name, set in a post-apocalyptic Manhattan where human-like robots and robot-like humans work and sleep together. This will be Klavan's first work produced at the Vineyard since contributing the book to Bed and Sofa. Expect Creation to be read at the Vineyard this season, followed by a lab or full staging the following season. As of May 13, the Vineyard has yet to announce scheduling for its upcoming season.
Now in its 16th season, the Vineyard is headed by artistic director Douglas Aibel, with Jon Nakagawa serving as managing director, and Barbara Zinn Krieger the organization's founder and executive director. For information on shows at the Vineyard Theatre, 108 East 15th St., call (212) 353-3874.
-- By David Lefkowitz