A mainstay of New York theater since the early 1980s, the openly gay Paul Rudnick has become a latter-day Dorothy Parker, animating plays, screenplays, novels and a column in PREMIERE magazine (under the pseudonym Libby Gelman-Waxner) with his subversive wit. Soon after graduating from Yale, his off-Broadway debut, "Poor Little Lambs" (1982, starring Kevin Bacon and Bronson Pinchot), received mixed notices but attracted Hollywood attention, although ultimately languishing in developmental limbo before the rights reverted to Rudnick. The former book jacket blurb writer took a break from playwriting, penning two novels (1986's "Social Disease" and 1989's "I'll Take It") before poking fun at the pretensions of "high art" with the critically-acclaimed "I Hate Hamlet" (1991), inspired by his own move into a Greenwich Village apartment once owned by the late John Barrymore. That legendary drunk could not have been any naughtier than Nicol Williamson, however, whose antics in the play made headlines and alienated cast mates and purportedly led to the show's early demise. The playwright then enjoyed an even bigger Off-Broadway success with "Jeffrey" (1992), an episodic romantic comedy about a gay man who decides to abstain from sex when the specter of AIDS turns his encounters into nerve-racking negotiations. Naturally, once he is celibate he meets the man of his dreams, who just happens to be HIV positive, with their relationship played out amusingly.