Despite the morbid subjects of Doug Wright's four dark comedies, Unwrap Your Candy extended its run at the Vineyard Theatre, thanks in part to strong reviews. The world premiere short works by the Quills playwright now close Nov. 10.
Described as "four mordant bedtime tales for adults," Unwrap Your Candy includes the playlets "The Bone Violin," "Wildwood Park," "Baby Talk" and the title play, meditations on frightening family secrets, corrupting adults and corrupting children, dark dirty crimes, and the perils of attending live theatre.
An Obie winner for Quills, Wright penned The Stonewater Rapture, Interrogating the Nude, Watabanaland and Buzzsaw Berkeley. The film "Quills," based on his play, was an indy hit in 2000, garnering a Best Picture award from the National Board of Review, a Golden Globe nomination for Best Screenplay and three Academy Award nominations. Wright's one man show, I Am My Own Wife: Studies for a Play About the Life of Charlotte Van Mahlsdorf, was workshopped at La Jolla Playhouse in July, 2001.
Featured in the cast are Obie winner Henry Stram and frequent Off Broadway star Reg Rogers. Stram won a 1996 Obie for Sustained Excellence, including his work with Richard Foreman (My Head Was A Sledgehammer, Eddie Goes to Poetry City) and the Vineyard (Christina Alberta's Father). Rogers starred as the title character in Second Stage's Cellini, Playwright's Horizons' Lobster Alice, Roundabout's Hurrah at Last! and Classic Stage Company's Look Back in Anger.
Also in the cast are Leslie Lyles (Down The Garden Path), Michi Barall and Darren Pettie. Previews were delayed three days to Sept. 21 with an opening Oct. 8. Tickets are $15-$40. The Vineyard is located at 108 E. 15th Street. For ticket information, call (212) 353-3366.
* Located off of Union Square, the Vineyard Theatre felt some immediate effects of the Sept. 11 terrorist attack on the World Trade Center. While everything below 14th Street was closed that first day, the company itself did not suffer much beyond the delayed previews. The Vineyard, however, has recognized the sacrifices of their local fire company, Lader Company #3, who lost twelve firefighters in the attack. Collecting donations after preview performances of Unwrap Your Candy, the company has raised $4000 and will continue collect for the Ladder 3 Assistance Fund. Ladder #3, located at 108 East 13th Street, lost its company chief, a captian and a lieutenant, along with nine other firefighters.
— By Christine Ehren