Kaufman and Ferber Are Reimagined in Florida Readings of New Play, George and Edna Go to Omaha Jan. 10 & 12 | Playbill

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News Kaufman and Ferber Are Reimagined in Florida Readings of New Play, George and Edna Go to Omaha Jan. 10 & 12 George and Edna Go to Omaha, a new play by Julie Gilbert, the great-niece and biographer of Edna Ferber, and Frank Evans, who collaborated with Gilbert on the musical version of the George Kaufman-Edna Ferber classic Dinner at Eight will have a two readings in South Florida.

The readings are a component of Performing Arts Week at Florida Atlantic University.

George and Edna Go to Omaha looks at Kaufman and Ferber's writing collaboration after the opening of Dinner at Eight and before the pair wrote Stage Door. According to Evans, the new play presumes that Kaufman and Ferber were writing an semi-autobiographical work about collaboration.  It also presumes that Ferber harbored unexpressed romantic feelings for Kaufman...unexpressed until they began to write.

The play's locale "moves from the protected writers' environment of Ferber's Manhattan apartment" to the home of "magnanimous patrons in the Midwest, where Kaufman and Ferber are held literary hostage."

J. Barry Lewis, 2004 Carbonell winner for Best Director of a Musical, is staging the cast of eight.  "Miami Vice" veteran Gordon McConnell, who is artistic director of TheatreWest, newly located  in West Palm Beach, plays George S. Kaufman.  Barbara Bradshaw, one of the South Florida's favorite leading ladies for 25 years, plays Edna Ferber. Rounding out the Equity cast are Laura Turnbull, Wayne LeGette, Margery Lowe, Dave Corey, Lurlene Snedecker and Mark Streeter.

Gilbert is a Drama-Logue Award winner for The Cottage and was Pulitzer nominated for "Opposite Attraction," her dual biography of Erich Maria Remarque and Paulette Goddard. Evans is the winner of the Spirit Award for his musical War Brides and the pair shared the Jerry Bock Award for their work on Dinner at Eight (the musical) with composer Ben Schaechter. The two writers recently completed The Puma, a play about the obsessive relationship between Remarque and screen goddess Marlene Dietrich. Evans is part of the writing team of Abie's Island Rose, produced at Florida's Hollywood Playhouse after its initial run Off-Broadway.

Performances are Jan. 10 at 2:30 PM at the Florida Atlantic University at the Jupiter Campus. For reservations, call (561) 799-8667. An additional performance will play Jan. 12 at 7 PM at the Boca Raton Campus of FAU. For reservations, call (561) 297-3171.

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