Vineyard Season Opens With Lucas' Strangers, Takes Musical Soul Picnic

News   Vineyard Season Opens With Lucas' Strangers, Takes Musical Soul Picnic Two strangers meet on a plane, a 60's singer-songwriter is celebrated and a Holocaust survivor's award-winning memoir come into question in the Vineyard's 2000-01 season, beginning in Sept. The three world premieres gracing the Off-Broadway house's stage will be Craig Lucas' Strangers, the musical Soul Picnic based on the work of Laura Nyro and Davey Holmes' More Lies About Jerzy.

Two strangers meet on a plane, a 60's singer-songwriter is celebrated and a Holocaust survivor's award-winning memoir come into question in the Vineyard's 2000-01 season, beginning in Sept. The three world premieres gracing the Off-Broadway house's stage will be Craig Lucas' Strangers, the musical Soul Picnic based on the work of Laura Nyro and Davey Holmes' More Lies About Jerzy.

Strangers kicks off the season Sept. 15 in a production directed by How I Learned to Drive's Mark Brokaw. In this new drama, two strangers bond happily on a plane trip -- only one of them has a dark secret. Strangers is Lucas' second drama to play the Vineyard; his The Dying Gaul had its world premiere there in 1998. His other work includes God's Heart, Prelude to a Kiss, "Longtime Companion" and "Reckless."

Stranger will open at the Vineyard Oct. 5.

A first-ever adaptation of the work of 1960's and 1970's singer songwriter Nyro, Soul Picnic uses four characters to explore the emotional side of her work, including the well-known songs, "Eli's Comin'," "Sweet Blindness," "Stoned Soul Picnic," "Wedding Bell Blues" and "Stoney End." Diane Paulus of The Donkey Show and Running Man adapts and directs the production, set to begin in Dec.

In March and April, Holmes makes his playwriting debut with More Lies About Jerzy, a musing on the writer's responsibility to himself and his subjects and to that almighty temptation - fame. In the play, Holmes looks at the life of a mysterious Polish emigre whose novel on the Holocaust is questioned for accuracy and truthfulness. Two new musical collaborations will go into development at the Vineyard over the season. The first comes from frequent Vineyard composer Polly Pen (Bed & Sofa, Goblin Market) and her Sofa partner, Laurence Klavan. The second is from this season's Off-Broadway splash Kirsten Childs (Bubbly Black Girl Sheds Her Chameleon Skin) and Cornelius Eady (Running Man).

Then add to these the theatre's commitment to two new dramas, one by Doug Wright and Janusz Glowacki (Hunting Cockroaches).

Last season, the Vineyard hosted the still-running Off-Broadway hit, Fully Committed, Sybille Pearson's True History and Real Adventures, starring Kathleen Chalfant and Nicky Silver's The Altruists.

For ticket information on the Vineyard Theatre, call (212) 353-3366. The Vineyard is located at 108 E. 15th Street.

-- By Christine Ehren