Vincent Kartheiser will shift from the 1960s to the 1940s when he portrays Billy Wilder in â€œBilly & Rayâ€ at the Vineyard Theater this fall.
Acclaimed for playing the prickly Pete Campbell on AMCâ€™s period drama â€œMad Men,â€ Mr. Kartheiser will join Larry Pine (â€œCasa Valentinaâ€) who will portray Raymond Chandler. Drew Gehling (â€œJersey Boysâ€) and Sophie von Haselberg round out the cast.
Written by Mike Bencivenga and directed by Garry Marshall (â€œPretty Womanâ€), â€œBilly & Rayâ€ captures the antagonistic relationship between Wilder and Chandler during the creation of the 1944 film â€œDouble Indemnity.â€ The two locked horns early and often while facing strict censorship laws that constrained a plot rife with murder and adultery. Despite the challenges, the film was nominated for seven Academy Awards, with Wilder and Chandler sharing a nomination for their screenplay.
Mr. Marshall directed the playâ€™s premiere with a different cast last year at the Falcon Theater in Burbank, California.
Ms. von Haselberg, who is making her New York theatrical debut, has a unique connection to the Mr. Marshall â€” he directed her mother, Bette Midler, in the 1988 film â€œBeaches.â€ However, this link played no role in her casting, according to Douglas Aibel, the Vineyardâ€™s artistic director: â€œShe won that part on her own merits. Sheâ€™s a phenomenal young talent.â€