Zak Berkman's play is scheduled to begin previews Oct. 22 at the Off-Broadway venue with an official opening Nov. 1. The limited engagement of the Epic Theatre Center production will play through Nov. 26. Casting will be announced shortly. Inspired by a chance encounter with Courtney Love, Beauty on the Vine, according to press notes, is "a modern fable about the power of the human face in the age of extreme plastic surgery and genetic engineering. Sweet calls himself a 'mutt.' He doesn’t know his parents, where he's from, or if he ever had a name. Is he Black? Native? Croate? 'Genocide Face' is how he classifies himself. But he finds his home when he falls in love with Lauren Chickering, a fast-rising star in right-wing radio who knows exactly who she is and how she wants to change America. Lauren wants to inspire girls of the Lindsay Lohan generation to become involved in the Republican Party, but her success has also inspired a series of events that leads to a brutal murder. Trying to understand the motive and meaning of Lauren’s death, Sweet joins Lauren’s father, Daniel, on a journey through the looking glass into a highly disturbing Wonderland where appearances are always deceiving."
Ethan McSweeny directed the Broadway production of Gore Vidal's The Best Man as well as the National Actors Theatre's mounting of The Persians. He received a 1998 Outer Critics Circle Award and a Drama Desk Award nomination for John Logan's Never the Sinner, and he also helmed Robert Myers' Fixin' to Die. At the Guthrie Theatre McSweeny has directed Thief River, Side Man, Romeo and Juliet and Gross Indecency.
Tickets, priced at $40, are available by calling (212) 279-4200 or by visiting www.ticketcentral.com.