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Jackie Collins talks about her new stage play, 'Hollywood Lies'

July 12, 2011 |  3:50 pm

Collins In the novels of Jackie Collins, ambition, greed and pure sex are tools of the trade for any aspiring starlet. Collins' steamy page turners -- including  "Chances," "Hollywood Wives" and the recent "Poor Little Bitch Girl" -- revel in the sordid details and lusty amorality of the glamour set. Now the novelist is working to bring her patented brand of sultry entertainment to the stage. 

For the past few years, Collins quietly has been  writing a new play titled "Hollywood Lies" -- a comic murder-mystery involving a young pop star out of rehab and her mother, who has taken conservatorship over her affairs. The play features a dead body in a swimming pool and a whodunit-type investigation with multiple twists.

Speaking by phone, Collins described her new play as fun, glamorous and lighthearted, "great for these times of depression." She emphasized that her goal isn't Broadway but rather a traveling stage production that would tour the country and feature former TV stars in the lead roles.

"You know the play 'Love Letters'?" she asked. "Well, this isn't 'Love Letters' but it's the same idea. I love the idea that something would travel America." 

"Hollywood Lies" will have a reading in New York this week at Lincoln Center. The reading will serve as an opportunity for investors to see the play and won't be open to the public. The play had a reading a year ago in L.A., with actors Alfred Molina and Brenda Strong.

Collins said the idea for the play came during her cross-country tour for her 2008 novel "Married Lovers," during which she traveled in a bus.  "It's really great getting out there and seeing the people who read my books and follow me on Twitter. This will be kind of like giving back in a way," she said.

Writing a play is new territory for Collins, but the novelist said it's not so far-removed from writing for the screen. (She has adapted some of her books for television.)

"I'm not a playwright, but I know how to write dialogue," Collins said. She said she's been writing (and rewriting) "Hollywood Lies" in collaboration with playwright-screenwriter Colette Freedman.

The New York reading will be directed by Rob Roth, with a roster of stage actors that hasn't been revealed, not even to Collins. "Give me your number and I'll call you when I've found out," she said.

The cast of characters also includes a problematic boyfriend, a local detective and a feisty Latina housekeeper. As with her novels, Collins has drawn inspiration from the legal troubles of celebrities, but audiences shouldn't try too hard to connect the dots.

"You won't be able to say, 'This is Lindsay,' or 'That's Britney,' " she said. "I combine them. As I aways say, life is stranger than fiction."

RELATED:

Curled Up With Jackie Collins

My Favorite Weekend: Jackie Collins

-- David Ng

Photo: Jackie Collins. Credit: Frederick M. Brown / Getty Images

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