|Full Gallop's set (Photo taken by my friend Koji)|
Full Gallop is set in 1971, on the day legendary fashion icon Diana Vreeland returns from her European vacation after getting fired by Vogue where she was editor-in-chief for eight years. She's dressed head-to-toe in black, with a stylish cape flowing behind her, the chic monotony of her appearance only broken by the rouge on her face and a beautiful tusk necklace around her neck. Her hair perfectly coiffed, she walks around her living room, in heels, with either a cigarette on a holder or a glass of whiskey in hand, making occasional exchanges through the intercom with her French housemaid Yvonne (voiced by G. Toengi) about the dinner party she's throwing, but mostly relating her wild opinions, funny and sad stories, and tweetable words of wisdom here and there, all obtained from being born and raised in Paris, moving to New York at the onset of World War I, her relationship with her husband Reed and her long years of traveling and being editor for two fashion magazines.
|Cherie Gil as Diana Vreeland|
In between the moment Gil, as Vreeland, shouts that she wants her living room to "look like a garden, but a garden in hell" and her last line, "I want an advance!" we find the fashion icon struggling—with names, an article written about her by The New York Post, finding someone to finance her own magazine, reconnecting with her sons, accepting the offer to be special consultant at The Metropolitan Museum of Art's The Costume Institute. But as she was struggling she was also shining. How appropriate that her favorite color was red, "the great clarifier," because she was, without a doubt, a woman of passion.
|Diana Vreeland in her famed apartment living room|
Everything I knew about Diana Vreeland I got from theater, in those two short hours last night that I watched Cherie Gil skillfully portray the former editor-in-chief of Vogue. Until I took to Google today, that is, which is what I usually do before seeing a film or a play...or going anywhere, really. Just to be prepared. But I didn't do that before seeing Full Gallop. I saw my friend Koji's review of the play on his blog, but I mostly just looked at the pictures. I just thought, booking my ticket online, "Fuck, it's Cherie Gil! It has got to be good!" And it was.
It's a shame Full Gallop only has a short run. This one-woman play written by Mary Louise Wilson and Mark Hampton and directed by Bart Guingona will have its last show tomorrow at 2 PM, in the Carlos P. Romulo Auditorium, RCBC Plaza, Makati. Even if you've never heard of Diana Vreeland before, watch the play, like my friend Claire said, if only for Cherie Gil.