Full Gallop, a one-woman show about fashion editor Diana Vreeland starring Mary Louise Wilson that wowed audiences as part of Manhattan Theatre Club's second-stage season last year, has opened at Off-Broadway's Westside Theatre.
Wilson and Mark Hampton penned the show, which is directed by Nicholas Martin. Produced by David Stone, Amy Nederlander-Case and Barry & Fran Weissler, Full Gallop catches Vreeland at a turning point in her career. After helping define style from the 40's through the 60's at Harper's Bazaar and Vogue magazines, Vreeland was fired from her position as editor-in-chief of Vogue in 1971.
John Simon, in New York magazine, wrote of Gallop: "When, last season, Manhattan Theatre Club did not transfer Full Gallop from its limited engagement to an open-ended-run, I thought they had taken leave of their senses. But here it finally is, as funny, charming, madcap and irresistible as it was before... As sublimely performed by Miss [Mary Louise Wilson] -- whose makeup, utterance, and demeanor fit Vreeland to a T -- this is the highest hilarity, the Everest of camp."
Vincent Canby, in his Sunday View column in the New York Times (Oct. 13), raved, "...Mary Louise Wilson, in a gloriously wired performance as Diana Vreeland, is holding forth in Full Gallop. With a cast pared down to the irreducible minimum of one, Full Gallop is a discovery on the exotic order of coddled eggs served with beluga caviar. It's a taste you never knew you had acquired, and it's as delicious as it is rich."
Wilson received an Obie and Drama Desk Award for her performance as Vreeland in the show's previous run last fall. For tickets and information, call 212-239-6200.
-- By David Lefkowitz