Mercedes Ruehl rules on the Old Globe’s Sheryl and Harvey White Theatre, portraying Diana Vreeland, the iconic “Empress of Fashion.” The one-woman show Full Gallop, written by Mary Louise Wilson and Mark Hampton, premiered at the Globe 20 years ago and has come full circle. Wilson played the role in ’95. Today it’s Ruehl’s turn, and she’s clearly having a blast channeling a woman who viewed life in rich, vivid color and lived it to the fullest. That said, there’s not much dramatic tension in Full Gallop. Ruehl’s Vreeland drops names, reminisces about society and fashion, and quips up a storm, all while ensconced in a blood-red room furnished with a cozy lounge, rich carpeting, ornate little tables and beaucoups flowers. Full Gallop doesn’t really gallop anywhere monumental, but Ruehl makes it a fun ride.
David L. Coddon is theater critic for San Diego CityBeat