Theatre Mirror Reviews - "Full Gallop"

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"What Happened in Boston, Willie"

Reviews of Current Productions

note: entire contents copyleft 2003 by Will Stackman


Minority Report on "FULL GALLOP"
at Boston Playwrights' Theatre; (seen in preview)

Reviewed by Will Stackman

    This bioplay, which has had its share of productions in theatres around the country in the last eight years, illustrates the danger of forcing material into a predetermined mold. There's nothing about Diana Vreeland's life that suggests it could - or should - be summed up in a cliche-filled imaginary evening as aging fashion doyen prepares for a intimate little evening immediately after her return from the Continent. She'd gone abroad after being abruptly dismissed from the editorship of Vogue. Her return was heralded by bitchy article in the New York Post, which figures too often in the show.
     But go to this latest Nora Theatre Company production for Annette Miller's heroic impersonation of this. Go for Daniel Gidron's careful direction and Bryanna Bloomfield's spot-on set. Go to support Nora Theatre as they forge on toward their own theatre space-shared with the Underground Railway--in Central Square. But the two act script circa 1996,for "Full Gallop" leaves much to be desired. Drawn largely from the subject's acerbic autobiography "D.V.", the piece was originally intended to showcase Mary Louise Wilson's talents at impersonation. Miller's more careful character development exposes the artifice of script's construction, to the detriment of the artifice which was Vreeland's raison d'etre.
     Name dropping for an incrowd no longer around to appreciate it becomes tedious. Confining the action to one evening after the cash-strapped Vreeland's return is too restrictive. There's better drama in this material but this lemonade will have to do. Moments, like the Dying Swan, are memorable however. Gidron has manages to keep Miller in motion from anecdote to anecdote, even when the show doesn't seem to be getting anywhere. Those who remember Gerri Librandi over-the-top effort for Merrimack in 1999 may enjoy comparing the two performances. Miller's is much closer to D.V.'s cherished Balenciaga look, courtesy of Gail Astrid Buckley's careful costumery.


"Full Gallop" by Mark Hampton & Mary Louise Wilson, Jan. 8 - Feb. 1
Nora Theatre Company at Boston Playwrights' Theatre, Studio B
949 Comm. Ave., Allston
, (617) 359 - PLAY; Boston Playwrights' Theatre
>"Full Gallop" (14 January - 1 February)
THE NORA THEATRE COMPANY
Boston Playwrights' Theatre, 949 Commonwealth Avenue BOSTON MA
1(617)491-2026


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