Washington writer Larry L. King's new play, "The Night Hank Williams Died," is expected to open off-Broadway sometime in September. King, who was the coauthor with Peter Masterson of the long-running Broadway musical "The Best Little Whorehouse in Texas" said, "We're shopping available theaters off-Broadway now and will start rehearsals in late July with an eye on a mid-September opening."

Since King and Masterson were such a successful team, Masterson, who directed "Whorehouse" with Tommy Tune, will direct "Hank Williams." He also is scheduled to direct a movie version of the play that King will write. Masterson was the director of the acclaimed movie "The Trip to Bountiful," for which Geraldine Page won an Academy Award this year.

Another "Whorehouse" veteran, Henderson Forsythe, who won a Tony for his four-year Broadway stint as Sheriff Ed Earl Dodd in the musical, will play the lead in "Hank Williams." King will also make his debut as a songwriter in the new play, which is not a musical. He has written three original songs for his play.

Jack Anderson's Good Timing

For the next several days, stories about the U.S. attack on Libya and about Muammar Qaddafi will fill the newspapers. It did seem oddly timely that yesterday's Jack Anderson and Joseph Spear column talked about recently declassified State Department cables revealing Qaddafi plots in Nigeria in 1983 and in Egypt in 1984. The column, in fact, had been written a week ago.

Spear said yesterday that the column had been in the works for about two weeks. "We just got lucky with the timing and coincidence," he said. Lucette Lagnado, a reporter for the Anderson/Spear column, saw the cables through a Freedom of Information Act request. "You know how Freedom of Information requests are," Spear said. "Sometimes it's like pulling teeth and sometimes it's damn easy. This time it was damn easy."

End Notes

Sen. Edward M. Kennedy has paid $75 in fines for speeding and not carrying a driver's license, a Plymouth, Mass., court official reported yesterday. Kennedy was stopped April 6 when he was clocked by state police going 80 miles per hour while driving his mother's 1981 white Cadillac. Kennedy, who gave his address as Squaw Island, Hyannisport, was fined $50 for speeding and $25 for not carrying his license . . .

Gerhard Waldheim, son of former U.N. secretary general Kurt Waldheim, will be at a press conference today at the National Press Club, where he will defend his father against allegations that he has a criminal Nazi past. Kurt Waldheim, who is campaigning for the presidency of Austria, has been fighting allegations that he was involved in Nazi activities when he was an officer in the German army during World War II . . .

When you're a big star, things are different. So many tourists showed up yesterday to see Clint Eastwood sworn in as mayor of Carmel-by-the-Sea that the traditional ceremony in the city council chamber had to be moved outside, even with the threat of a rainstorm. It was the first time the mayor had been sworn in out of doors. Wait until city officials see the kind of turnout hot issues like parking meter rates and days of garbage collection get when the new mayor is speaking on the issues . . .

Singer and songwriter Irene Cara, who won an Academy Award for the title song to "Fame" and two Grammys for her music to "Flashdance," was married over the weekend to veteran stunt man Conrad Palmisano. Cara, 27, met Palmisano, 37, on the set of "A Certain Fury," where he was stunt coordinator. He is president of the Stuntmen's Association and is directing his own movies, including the yet-to-be-released "Busted Up," which stars Cara . . .

There's a great Hollywood story that actor Michael Caine tells about standing outside the Beverly Wilshire Hotel with living legend Cary Grant. A woman rushed over and shook Caine's hand, saying, "I'm so glad to see you. We've come here from Iowa and we've been searching for movie stars all week." She then turned and looked at Grant, adding, "Isn't it wonderful? I've finally met a movie star." Grant smiled and told the woman he was happy for her . . .