Garry Marshall's Play 'Billy & Ray' to Star Vincent Kartheiser

10:35 AM PST 08/27/2014 by Ashley Lee
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Vincent Kartheiser

The "Mad Men" actor will star opposite Larry Pine in the comedy charting the birth of the film noir genre

Vincent Kartheiser is heading back to the stage.

The Mad Men actor will star in the off-Broadway run of Billy & Ray, a comedy directed by Garry Marshall that charts the birth of the film noir genre, it has been announced by the Vineyard Theatre's artistic directors, Douglas Aibel and Sarah Stern. He will play writer-director Billy Wilder opposite Larry Pine (House of Cards) as novelist Raymond Chandler.

The New York premiere of the production will begin previews Oct. 1 at the Vineyard Theatre, and officially open Oct. 20.

Penned by Mike Bencivenga, Billy & Ray follows the literary odd couple as they contentiously collaborate on the film adaptation of Double Indemnity, which was released in 1944. The show is described as "the true story of how two brilliant and thorny artists battled the Hollywood censors and each other to create a groundbreaking movie classic."

Also featured in the cast are Sophie von Haselberg (The Cat and the Canary) as Wilder's long-suffering secretary, and Drew Gehling (Jersey Boys) as a beleaguered studio chief.

Kartheiser plots his stage move in a theater season sprinkled with Hollywood stars, including Bradley Cooper, Rose Byrne, Michael Cera, Jake Gyllenhaal, Anna Gunn, Rupert Grint and Ken Watanabe, among others.

Billy & Ray won the W. Keith Hedrick award for best play in 2013. Marshall's staging of the show had its world premiere in spring 2013 at the Falcon Theatre in Burbank, Calif.

The production's design team has also been announced, with sets by Charlie Corcoran, lighting by Russell Champa, costumes by Michael Krass and sound by David Van Tieghem. Tickets go on sale Sept. 4 at the Vineyard box office (212-353-0303) and online.

Email: Ashley.Lee@THR.com
Twitter: @cashleelee

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