Writer-actor Bob Kingdom's Elsa Edgar, a strange bedfellows tale of gossip diva Elsa Maxwell and FBI director J. Edgar Hoover, officially opens Dec. 15, after previews from Dec. 1. The once-powerful duo is still proving potent: An extension to Jan. 16, 2000, has been announced by Primary Stages.
The solo show was first seen in 1998 at Sag Harbor, Long Island's Bay Street Theatre, in a production which was to feature Elaine Stritch, but ended up starring Kingdom.
In two monologues about the way the media handles rumor and private information, author-actor Kingdom looks at gossip columnist Elsa Maxwell and FBI director J. Edgar Hoover. "They invented the forms of control that we're still living with," said Kingdom in a statement. "In their world, gossip becomes surveillance and surveillance gossip."
Kingdom penned the solo works Dylan Thomas: Return Journey and The Truman Capote Talk Show, which played in repertory at NYC's Perry Street Theatre in 1994. Elsa Edgar is directed by Casey Childs.
Here's the Primary Stages remaining 1999-2000 season line-up:
• March 8-April 9, 2000: An Empty Plate in the Cafe du Grand Boeuf by Michael Hollinger, directed by John Rando. Rando, a Primary Stages veteran, helmed David Ives' Mere Mortals there. He also staged Ives' Lives of the Saints in Philadelphia, the Encores! staging of Do Re Mi and Merton of the Movies at the Geffen Playhouse in Los Angeles.
• May 3-June 4, 2000: TBA.
For Primary Stages tickets ($30-$35; Subscriptions $130 and up), call the box office at (212) 333-4052.
--By Robert Simonson and Christine Ehren