The Dean Team, Broadway Bound?

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By Amy Argetsinger and Roxanne Roberts
Friday, June 15, 2007

Who knew political drama was so . . . theatrical? A play about David Frost's interview with Richard Nixon just nabbed a Tony for best actor. A stage bio of Supreme Court Justice Harry Blackmun is in the works. Now comes word that another unlikely subject may be headed for Broadway this fall: Howard Dean's 2004 presidential campaign.

Last week, Oscar-nominated actor Jake Gyllenhaal did a private reading of "Farragut North" (written by playwright and former Dean campaigner Beau Willimon) about the presidential hopes of a charismatic, unorthodox candidate and his staff. The 26-year-old "Brokeback Mountain" star would play the idealistic young communications director sabotaged by old political dogs with dirty tricks, reports the New York Post. If he's cast, it would be Gyllenhaal's Broadway debut.

"Jake was a big campaign supporter of mine, so I hope he takes it," Dean told us yesterday. "But I want him to play me." The DNC chairman likes the concept -- "Hell, I'll go to it" -- even if it includes his famous scream. "I'd like to see him do that."

Willimon, who named the play for the Metro stop closest to K Street lobbyists, lives in New York and worked for Chuck Schumer's, Bill Bradley's, Hillary Cl's and Dean's races. Jeffrey Richards, fresh from seeing the musical "Spring Awakening" take eight Tonys, will produce; director James Lapine staged the reading.

"Look, there are probably 10 plays and six movies that could come out of the Dean campaign," said former campaign manager Joe Trippi. "It was that amazing a story. There was joy, humor and high drama; if a play can capture that, I think it will be a good one."

THIS JUST IN . . .

· Former New Jersey Gov. Jim McGreevey and his estranged wife are sniping about poor sales of her new memoir. In court papers, Dina Matos McGreevey says sales fell after he called her homophobic; the former governor blamed the "dull" prose, her claim she didn't realize he was gay, and her "awful" appearance in April with Oprah in "an inappropriate and ill-fitting ballgown with a plunging neckline." Me-ow.

· Eunice Kennedy Shriver, 85, is much better after a series of small strokes, says Arnold Schwarzenegger. In a speech Sunday, the California governor said his mother-in-law's condition was originally so serious that doctors feared she would never speak again -- but "her prayers were answered and she's speaking again fluently, and is screaming at me again," he said. "So it's all back to normal."

D.C. Bachelor Gets People's Green Light

Ted Miller, a marketing analyst at the World Wildlife Fund, is one of People mag's
Ted Miller, a marketing analyst at the World Wildlife Fund, is one of People mag's "sexy ecocrusaders."(Courtesy of Ted Miller)
Once again, People magazine has all but snubbed D.C. in compiling its prestigious annual "Hottest Bachelors" list. Moving past cover boy Matthew McConaughey (him again?) we find only one Washingtonian -- though Ted Miller, 28, does get a unique honor, as one of People's "Sexy Green Bachelors!" Or "Sexy Ecocrusaders!" Something like that. Anyway, the marketing analyst for the World Wildlife Fund is shown shirtless next to text lauding him for picking up trash at parks and not owning a car.

Mindful of the fact that last year's D.C. reps actually had girlfriends, we made sure to ask the Bethesda native. "Nah," he said, "I'm single."

Talk About Call & Response: Odetta Wows 'Em

The emotional highlight of opening night at the Silverdocs film festival Tuesday came with a surprise appearance by legendary folk singer Odetta, after a screening of a new documentary about one of her old friends, " Pete Seeger: The Power of Song." The chanteuse, her voice age-weakened but still clear, transfixed the hushed auditorium with a stunning a cappella rendition of Seeger's "One Grain of Sand" -- until someone's cellphone went off.

"I'm so sorry!" the offender was heard whispering as she struggled to silence the ringer. But Odetta didn't miss a beat; she was rewarded with a thunderous standing ovation.


© 2007 The Washington Post Company

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