Neil Simon will tackle the Lillian Hellman-Dashiell Hammett relationship in his next play, the legendary comic playwright told the Orange County Register. The as-yet-unnamed play will premiere at the Geffen Playhouse in Los Angeles, where his updated version of The Odd Couple will play in June. Playwright Hellman is known for her stage dramas including The Children's Hour and The Little Foxes, as well as her left-wing politics, which left her blacklisted in the 1950's. Hammett is famous for his dectective novels "The Maltese Falcon" and "The Thin Man" (Nick & Nora, the 1991 musical flop, was based on "The Thin Man"'s characters). Hammett was widely believed to have based Nora Charles, wife of the detective hero Nick, on Hellman.
"I don't want to reveal anymore about it [aside from the Hellman-Hammett relationship], because to do so would give the story away," Simon told the Register.
— By Christine Ehren