Pulitzer Winner Vogel Returns to Off-Broadway with a New Ride, Opening Nov. 4

News   Pulitzer Winner Vogel Returns to Off-Broadway with a New Ride, Opening Nov. 4 Paula Vogel makes her return to the New York stage with familiar friends — director Mark Brokaw and Off-Broadway's Vineyard Theatre — as her new play The Long Christmas Ride Home opens Nov. 4.

The New York premiere began previews Oct. 14 and already extended its six-week engagement two more weeks through Dec. 7.

The Vineyard season opener, reteams Brokaw and Vogel, the director-playwright team of the 1998 Pulitzer Prize-winning play How I Learned to Drive, which debuted at the Vineyard. John Carrafa (Urinetown) handles choreography.

"I don't even know how many decades now — a long, long time ago I had the idea for this play. I just didn't know how to do it, and decided to keep putting it on the back burner until I found the techniques to do it," Vogel revealed to Playbill On-Line. She found her answer in Bunraku-inspired puppets designed by Basil Twist. (To read the complete interview, visit Playbill On-Line's Brief Encounter section.)

Tony Award winner Randy Graff stars in the Vogel drama which centers on a family whose car spins out of control on an icy road following a Christmas dinner gone awry.

Graff heads up a cast that includes Enid Graham (Fortune's Fool, Honour), Mark Blum (The Graduate), Will McCormack (Mizlansky/Zilansky), Catherine Kellner (The Iceman Cometh) and Sean Palmer (Fosse). The actors, a few of which were compelling to learn puppetry during the four-week rehearsal process, will be joined by a company of puppeteers including Matt Acheson, Oliver Dalzel, Erin Eager, Mark Petrosino, Sarah Provost and Lake Simons. The design team for The Long Christmas Ride Home features Neil Patel (scenic), Mark McCullough (lighting), Jess Goldstein (costume) and David Van Tieghem (sound) — who also provides original music.

The Long Christmas Ride Home made its world premiere at Rhode Island's Trinity Repertory Theatre earlier this year. The production was directed by Oskar Eustis and starred Contact's Sean Martin Hingston.

Vogel's other works include The Baltimore Waltz, Desdemona and The Mineola Twins.

For ticket information call the Vineyard box office (located at 108 E. 15 Street) at (212) 353-0303 or visit www.vineyardtheatre.org.

Catherine Kellner, Will McCormack, and Enid Graham in <i>The Long Christmas Ride Home</i>.
Catherine Kellner, Will McCormack, and Enid Graham in The Long Christmas Ride Home.