Hot on the heels of winning the Lucille Lortel Award for Best Play, Paula Vogel's How I Learned To Drive has closed -- but only temporarily. The show ended its scheduled run at Off-Broadway's Vineyard Theatre April 13 but is just waiting for a bigger house to come available for a more commercial run.
Production spokesperson Sam Rudy says he expects word on the move in two-three weeks, with the expectation that the principals will remain with the project. Those include film actress Mary-Louise Parker, who appeared on Broadway last season in Bus Stop, and St. Elsewhere's David Morse, who starred as the priest in the Broadway revival of On The Waterfront.
The world premiere of Drive, which opened March 16 at the Vineyard, was directed by Mark Brokaw, who staged Off-Broadway's This Is Our Youth and The Good Times Are Killing Me.
Parker plays a young woman who comes of age in the 1960s-70s and receives driving lessons from her uncle (Morse), "lessons which extend well beyond the rules of the road." The actress' other stage appearances include Prelude To A Kiss and Four Dogs And A Bone. Morse starred in Redwood Curtain at Seattle Rep and The Wild Duck at Los Angeles Theatre Center. Also in the Drive cast are Kerry O'Malley, Johanna Day and Michael Showalter (of MTV's "The State"). Designers include Narelle Sissons (sets), Jess Goldstein (costumes), Mark McCullough (lighting) and David Van Tieghem (sound).
Other Vogel works include The Mineola Twins, Desdemona and And Baby Makes Seven. Her next theatre project is a stage adaptation of The War Of The Worlds for Anne Bogart's Saratoga International Theatre Institute, scheduled to premiere at Minneapolis' Walker Museum in 1997-98. The Vineyard, on East 15th St., opened its season with Lisa Loomer's The Waiting Room and will continue after Drive with a world premiere of Nicky Silver's My Marriage To Ernest Borgnine, directed by David Warren; and the new musical, You Don't Miss The Water.
Both on and off-Broadway there's a theatre crunch this season, though How I Learned To Drive may have caught a break with the unexpected closing of Tokyo Shock Boys at the Minetta Lane Theatre. However, spokesperson Rudy said it's still too early to speculate on a new venue.
--By David Lefkowitz