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Whitty repartee

Writer to take on the 'Further Adventures of Hedda Gabler'

NEW YORK — Jeff Whitty nabbed a Tony for his first book for a musical, “Avenue Q.” Now the author of “The Plank Project” — a parody of “The Laramie Project” about a 1,000-pound transvestite who falls down a well and succumbs to a liposuction accident — has returned to his first love: playwriting.

South Coast Rep has commissioned him to write “The Further Adventures of Hedda Gabler.” If memory serves, doesn’t Ibsen’s heroine shoot herself at play’s end?

“It’s hard to explain,” Whitty begins. “In my play, Hedda kills herself several times, and has to keep explaining herself.”

Actually, in Whitty’s alternate world, Hedda meets up with Mammy from “Gone With the Wind” and they go off in search of the writers who created them. Whitty says SCR is the perfect place for the play’s world premiere: “It has an enormous stage, and there will be lots of special effects.”

Whitty is also at work on another tuner, but not for the stage. Universal Pictures has bought his dark fable for the children of stoned college students, or, as Whitty puts it, “my two favorite target audiences.” The as-yet untitled movie musical focuses on twins who, neglected by their parents, manifest strange physical symptoms, like transparency and losing touch with gravity. Songs are by OutKast’s Andre 3000 (“The Love Below”).

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