FULL GALLOP, Starring Mercedes Ruehl, Extends at The Old Globe

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Long before the devil wore Prada -- 20 years ago, in fact -- the story of the irrepressible Diana Vreeland first commanded the stage of the Globe in a world premiere in 1995. Oscar and Tony Award winner Mercedes Ruehl (The Fisher King, Lost in Yonkers) now brings "The Empress of Fashion" back in FULL GALLOP. Written by Mark Hampton and Mary Louise Wilson and directed by Andrew Russell. Both critics and audiences are loving it, and FULL GALLOP will now add a limited week of additional performances, extending through Sunday, November 1, 2015, in the Sheryl and Harvey White Theatre, part of the Globe's Conrad Prebys Theatre Center.

Before Anna Wintour, "Sex and the City," and a generation of fashionistas, there was Diana Vreeland, larger-than-life doyenne of American taste. Unceremoniously fired as editor of Vogue, she hunkers down in her famous all-red New York apartment and plans her comeback: a magazine of her own. The path to get there is as complicated and outré as Vreeland herself. FULL GALLOP, which premiered at The Old Globe in 1995, is a witty, fashionably funny one-woman tour de force about the fabulous style icon who forever changed the way Americans experience clothing, art, and life.

Mercedes Ruehl (Diana Vreeland) has appeared in the films The Fisher King (Academy Award, Golden Globe Award, Los Angeles and Chicago Film Critics Association Awards), Married to the Mob, The Warriors, Big, Heartburn, Slaves of New York, Another You, Last Action Hero, Lost in Yonkers, What's Cooking?, The Amati Girls, Roseanna's Grave, Chu and Blossom, Zeyda and the Hitman, Spooky House, More Dogs Than Bones, and The Minus Man. She has been seen on Broadway in Neil Simon's Lost in Yonkers (Tony, Drama Desk, Outer Critics Circle, and Helen Hayes Awards), The Goat, or Who Is Sylvia? (Outer Critics Circle Award, Tony nomination), The Rose Tattoo, The Shadow Box (Tony nomination), and I'm Not Rappaport. Her Off Broadway credits include Woman Before a Glass (Obie Award), Other People's Money (Clarence Derwent Award), The Marriage of Bette and Boo (Obie Award), Coming of Age in Soho, The Vagina Monologues, and Edward Albee's The Occupant. Ruehl's television credits include HBO's Indictment: The McMartin Trial, Gia, Hallmark Hall of Fame's The Lost Child and Loving Leah, El Jefe, Doubt, Star Spangled Banners, Showtime's North Shore Fish, Guilt by Association, and A Girl Like Me. She also made guest appearances on "Entourage," "Law & Order," "Monday Mornings," "Luck," "Psych," and "Frasier," among others.

The creative team includes Sean Fanning (Scenic Design), Mark Mitchell (Costume Design), Robert J. Aguilar (Lighting Design), Matt Starritt (Sound Design), Brian Meister (Assistant Director), and Annette Yé (Production Stage Manager).

"FULL GALLOP premiered here in 1995, and it's a pleasure to have it back," said Globe Artistic Director Barry Edelstein. "It's one of many plays and musicals that went onto great success after its Globe debut, and it is ripe for revival and reexamination. The talented director Andrew Russell, making his Globe debut, finds potent new currents of emotion, humanity, and entertainment in this beguiling story of a defining moment in Diana Vreeland's life. She was grand, her vision capacious, and her impact national, and it takes a very special actor to embody a character as imposing, significant, and extravagant. Mercedes Ruehl is an American treasure, a fearless talent who understands the expressive power of style, and her talents are a precise fit for Vreeland. I'm thrilled to welcome her to the Globe and can't wait to share her gorgeous work with San Diego audiences."

Mark Hampton (Playwright) is grateful to The Old Globe for giving FULL GALLOP its first production, which allowed the play to be seen subsequently in New York, Los Angeles, London, Paris, Rome, Brussels, South Africa, Spain, and Sweden. Subsequent plays by Hampton include The Boswell Sisters, written with Stuart Ross and produced by The Old Globe; Paper Doll, written with Barbara Zitwer, starring Marlo Thomas and F. Murray Abraham; and The Secret Letters of Jackie and Marilyn, co-written with Michael Sharp, both produced by Pittsburgh Public Theater. With Jeannie Berlin he has recently completed the screenplay for a romantic comedy, Crackpot, and is currently working on You Don't Own Me, about the life and music of Lesley Gore. Kiki/Suzanne, a play written for French actress Barbara Schulz, will premiere in Paris next season. And Josephine, a musical based on the life of Josephine Baker, written with Ellen Weston, Steve Doff, and John Bettis for producer Kenneth Waissman, will premiere in April 2016 at Asolo Repertory Theatre in Sarasota.

Mary Louise Wilson (Playwright) was given Obie and Drama Desk Awards in 1998 for her portrayal of Diana Vreeland in FULL GALLOP Off Broadway. She is the author of My First Hundred Years in Show Business, which has recently been published by Overlook Press. She just finished playing Letitia Primrose in On the Twentieth Century on Broadway. Her other recent Broadway performances include Fraulein Schneider in the revival of Cabaret, for which she was nominated for a Tony Award, and, as Big Edie, the musical Grey Gardens, for which she won the Tony. For her performance as Vera in Lincoln Center Theater's 4000 Miles two seasons ago she won an Obie. Her other notable Off Broadway work includes the play Bosoms and Neglect by John Guare (Signature Theatre Company) and The Beard of Avon by Amy Freed (New York Theatre Workshop). Wilson's recent television appearances include "The Sopranos," "Louie," "Nurse Jackie," "Devious Maids," and "Mozart in the Jungle." Her film work includes Klute, Green Card, She-Devil, Pet Sematary, The Money Pit, The Best Little Whorehouse in Texas, Zelig, Nebraska, and The Humbling with Al Pacino. Wilson is the subject of a documentary from filmmaker Ron Nyswaner called She's the Best Thing in It, which is currently making the rounds of film festivals. FULL GALLOP, published by Dramatists Play Service, continues to be produced in cities all over Europe and South America as well as in the United States. Theatrical Haiku, a collection of short plays, is also published by Dramatists Play Service. She has written articles for The New Yorker and The New York Times.

Andrew Russell (Director) is a writer and director based in Seattle with a focus on stage productions celebrating outsiders and those on the fringe. He is the Producing Artistic Director of the Tony Award-winning Intiman Theatre, where he directed Stu for Silverton, a new musical about America's first transgender mayor, and last year's critically acclaimed productions of Tony Kushner's Angels in America, Parts One and Two, among others. Currently at Intiman, Russell has co-written with Ana Brown the new play John Baxter is a Switch Hitter, a new comic-drama that tells the true story of a softball team accused of having too many straight players at the 2008 Gay Softball World Series. He has also co-written the musical The Fourth Estate with composer Richard Gray and The 5th Avenue Theatre that puts Dorothy Kilgallen, Jack Ruby, Laura Poitras, and Edward Snowden in the same room. In New York, Russell has directed for The Public Theater, The Ensemble Studio Theatre, New York University, Jazz at Lincoln Center, and Naked Angels, among others.

FULL GALLOP joins the September 16 world premiere of an exuberant dance-theatre musical, In Your Arms, in kicking off The Old Globe's 2015-2016 Season, which includes three world premieres, new works, and classics-and of course, Shakespeare and the Mean Old Grinch too! Tickets to the Globe's 2015-2016 Season are currently available by subscription only and can be purchased online at www.TheOldGlobe.org, by phone at (619) 23-GLOBE [234-5623], or by visiting the box office at 1363 Old Globe Way in Balboa Park.

TICKETS to FULL GALLOP are on sale now and start at $29. Performances began on September 26 and continue through November 1. FULL GALLOP performance times: Opening Thursday, October 1. Regular performances: Tuesday and Wednesday evenings at 7:00 p.m., Thursday, Friday, and Saturday evenings at 8:00 p.m., Saturday and Sunday matinees at 2:00 p.m. and Sunday evenings at 7:00 p.m. There will be an additional 2:00 p.m. matinee performance on Wednesday, October 14, and no 2:00 p.m. matinee performance on Saturday, October 17. Extension week: Wednesday, October 28 at 7:00 p.m.; Thursday, October 29 at 8:00 p.m., Friday, October 30 at 8:00 p.m., Saturday, October 31 at 2:00 p.m., and Sunday, November 1 at 2:00 p.m. Discounts are available for full-time students, patrons 29 years of age and under, seniors, and groups of 10 or more.

The Tony Award-winning Old Globe is one of the country's leading professional regional theatres and has stood as San Diego's flagship arts institution for 80 years. Under the leadership of Artistic Director Barry Edelstein and Managing Director Michael G. Murphy, The Old Globe produces a year-round season of 14 productions of classic, contemporary, and new works on its three Balboa Park stages: the Donald and Darlene Shiley Stage in the 600-seat Old Globe Theatre and the 250-seat Sheryl and Harvey White Theatre, both part of The Old Globe's Conrad Prebys Theatre Center, and the 605-seat outdoor Lowell Davies Festival Theatre, home of its internationally renowned Shakespeare Festival. More than 250,000 people attend Globe productions annually and participate in the theatre's education and community programs. Numerous world premieres such as the 2014 Tony Award winner for Best Musical, A Gentleman's Guide to Love and Murder, The Full Monty, Dirty Rotten Scoundrels, A Catered Affair, and the annual holiday musical Dr. Seuss' How the Grinch Stole Christmas! have been developed at The Old Globe and have gone on to enjoy highly successful runs on Broadway and at regional theatres across the country.

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