Rupert Holmes will appear at the Dramatists Guild headquarters Tuesday, November 19 to talk about his experiences as a playwright, librettist, and songwriter. He should have plenty to say, even if he only discusses what he's done in the last month.
Holmes's latest play, Say Goodnight, Gracie, opened on Broadway on October 18, only a week after his new musical Marty bowed in Boston. The variety of these projects shows why it's difficult to pigeonhole Holmes in terms of his creative output: the former is a one-man show about the real-life relationship between vaudeville stars George Burns and Gracie Allen, while the latter is a large-cast musical based on Paddy Chayefsky's fictional tale of a lonely Bronx butcher.
Although he is the first person to win Tony Awards as the sole bookwriter, lyricist, and composer of a musical (for The Mystery of Edwin Drood), Holmes is not adverse to collaborating on projects: He is the author of the book to Marty but has left the songwriting for that show to composer Charles Strouse and lyricist Lee Adams.
Holmes also wrote the mysteries Solitary Confinement and Accomplice, both of which played on Broadway; a musical version of Oscar Wilde's The Picture of Dorian Gray that has not yet been produced; Thumbs, a thriller that starred Kathie Lee Gifford at the Cape Playhouse earlier this year; and the arena touring show Goosebumps on Stage. His scriptwriting for other media includes the A&E network series Remember WENN, about a small radio station in the late 1930s; Holmes has adapted the series into a stage musical, which The Helen Hayes Theatre Company in Nyack, New York will stage in 2003. In addition to all of the above, Holmes wrote the 1979 pop hit "Escape," better known as "The Pina Colada Song."
The Dramatists Guild "Conversation with Rupert Holmes" will begin at 5:30pm at that organization's headquarters, located on the seventh floor of 1515 Broadway in Manhattan. The Guild suggests -- but does not require -- that attendees contribute $5 each and strongly recommends that all interested parties make reservations by calling 212-391-3885.