Gelbart pens new play for good cause

Larry Gelbart has written a new play, “Floodgate,” which will preem Dec. 12 at the Geffen Theater.

It is a one-night event, with all proceeds going to PEN USA. But Gelbart hopes it has a “life beyond.” ‘Floodgate’ is an account of faux congressional committee holding hearings that relate to a Katrina-style disaster. Only this time, it’s Washington that is the site of chaos. And the best that the government can respond with creates only more of the same.”

There are 14 roles, including that of president, vice president, his adviser, congressmen, etc. The roles are identified — but not the names of the current office holders. “Chaos breaks out when the public loses faith in the government,” said Gelbart, who will also direct this performance, which will be produced by Joan Stein.

Gelbart’s record of legiters includes the 1989 Off Broadway “Mastergate” as well the Broadway hits “City of Angels,” “Sly Fox,” “Conquering Hero” and, of course, “A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the Forum.” Gelbart also is busy readying “Abrogate,” which the BBC will air in February with a U.S. radio company to follow. This one deals with an investigative committee of the future checking into the present minority investigative committee.

Gelbart continues working with Alan and Marilyn Bergman on the planned Broadway bow of “Like Jazz” (also with the late Cy Coleman), which preemed at the Taper. Dirk Decloedt directs.

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