'Wide Stance,' a Play Based On Larry Craig
One of Washington's more colorful recent scandals is heading to the stage.
A playwright and filmmaker who splits his time between New York and Los Angeles is writing a fictionalized play about former senator Larry Craig's 2007 arrest in an airport men's room sex sting, The Sleuth has learned.
The work-in-progress, titled -- what else? -- "Wide Stance," is already scheduled for a debut reading in Craig's hometown of Boise in January at the spectacular home of former Washingtonian artistic power couple Liz Wolf and her husband, Bill Blahd.
But don't expect to see Craig there.
Asked if the former senator would be invited to the reading, the playwright, Tim Kirkman, told us, "Oh God, no. I wouldn't want him to come to the reading. That would be torture for him. I feel bad for him."
Kirkman, a North Carolinian, has a history of focusing on the foibles of conservative Republican politicians: he made a documentary in 1998 about his home state's senator, Jesse Helms.
Why a play about Craig? "I was totally obsessed with this Larry Craig thing, as the rest of the country was," he explained.
But the Craig character in Kirkman's play will be a fictional North Carolina congressman. Kirkman said the play will focus more on the personal lives of the characters than on what happened in the airport men's room when Craig was caught tapping his foot, which the arresting undercover police officer in the next stall recognized as a signal soliciting sex.
"I broke it apart, started thinking how many lives" were affected by it, including that of the undercover cop," Kirkman said. "I wonder what that cop's day was like when he went home that night, who is he married to, or is he married."
Still, the men's room stall may make a cameo in Kirkman's play. "I may end the play with all six people in the restroom," he told The Sleuth.
All six people would be the fictional congressman and his wife, the police officer and his wife, and a cable TV newscaster and "someone in his life," Kirkman elaborated.
Kirkman, who is gay, said "Wide Stance" will explore the meaning of "gay" to the lead character. (Craig has always insisted he is not gay.)
"I already have a lot more compassion for Larry Craig than I ever imagined I would have," Kirkman said. "You end up getting in the heads of all these people."
Mary Ann Akers
September 3, 2009; 2:27 PM ET
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