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The short answer to your question is that YES you may write and publish and produce a biographical play/musical about a person without obtaining their permission or the permission of their estate.
Your question is a little more complicated than that answer because the answer meets in the middle between State laws pertaining to Rights of Publicity and the rights of an Author under the First Amendment to the US Constitution.
However, it is fairly well established law that Unauthorized Biographies are protected speech under the First Amendment.
For a detailed and lengthy discussion of this issue the following article may prove useful:
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