Probably not, but that's the idea of George and Edna's Lost Play, a new work by Ferber's great niece and biographer, Julie Gilbert, and Frank Evans. The play gets a private reading in Manhattan Oct. 17.
Evans and Gilbert collaborated on the musical version of the George S. Kaufman-Edna Ferber classic Dinner at Eight, seen in a reading in London over the summer.
The new play looks at Kaufman and Ferber's writing collaboration after the opening of Dinner at Eight and before the pair wrote Stage Door.
George and Edna's Lost Play presumes that Kaufman and Ferber were writing a semi-autobiographical work about collaboration. It also presumes that Ferber harbored unrequited as well as unexpressed romantic feelings for Kaufman — unexpressed until they began to write.
The new work flashes forward to the present when two acts of the lost manuscript are found, but the third act is missing. A New York production is slated with a new third act by a well known playwright. The literary heirs, a fictional great-niece of Ferber and a fictional great-grandson of Kaufman, are thrown a curve when the missing Kaufman-Ferber third act surfaces.
The play, written for four actors playing multiple parts, features Adinah Alexander (Wicked) as Ferber, Peter Reznikoff (Far and Wide) as Kaufman, Linda Romoff (Thoroughly Modern Millie, Cabaret) as the great-niece and Jamie McGonnigal as the great-grandson.
Gilbert and Evans are also the co-authors of Poolside, a fictionalized account an unsolved Hollywood mystery. Gilbert is a Drama-Logue Award winner for The Cottage and was Pulitzer nominated for her dual biography of Paulette Goddard and Erich Maria Remarque, "Opposite Attraction." Evans is the winner of the Connecticut-based Spirit Award for his musical War Brides and the pair shared the Jerry Bock Award for their work on Dinner at Eight with composer Ben Schaechter.