Douglas Carter Beane‘s The Little Dog Laughed , a Second Stage production that opened last January, is about the problems of a sexually conflicted movie star. It was rumored to be based upon — suggested by — impressions of Tom Cruise and his relationship with former publicist Pat Kingsley. (The third character is a gay hustler whom the actor is involved with.) Anyway, I’m told the play will be moving to Broadway in the fall, and when it does the storm over Cruise — peaking now, but certain to die out in a week or two — will rev up again. Here’s what N.Y. Times critic Ben Brantley said in his 1.10.06 review: “What has garnered the most advance attention for Little Dog has been the promise that it would be about a closeted gay actor who knows his homosexuality is incompatible with being a matinee idol. Sure enough, the character of Mitchell (Neal Huff) is suggestively familiar enough that certain contemporary male stars (names withheld in view of possible litigation) should probably stay away from this show if they want to avoid sleepless nights.” The Kingsley character, Diane (Julie White) “muses wonderingly on her client’s naive idea of taking his mother as a date to an awards ceremony ‘so that no one will know he’s gay.’ Certainly the play’s basic plot hinges on the professional problems of such secrecy, after Mitchell begins an affair with a young prostitute named Alex (Johnny Galecki) while visiting New York. Diane has secured the film rights to a play in which the lead male character is gay. And as she observes, ‘If a perceived straight actor portrays a gay role in a feature film, it’s noble, it’s a stretch. It’s the pretty lady putting on a fake nose and winning an Oscar.'”