Vincent Kartheiser will shift from the 1960s to the 1940s when he portrays Billy Wilder in “Billy & Ray” at the Vineyard Theater this fall.
Acclaimed for playing the prickly Pete Campbell on AMC’s period drama “Mad Men,” Mr. Kartheiser will join Larry Pine (“Casa Valentina”) who will portray Raymond Chandler. Drew Gehling (“Jersey Boys“) and Sophie von Haselberg round out the cast.
Written by Mike Bencivenga and directed by Garry Marshall (“Pretty Woman”), “Billy & Ray” captures the antagonistic relationship between Wilder and Chandler during the creation of the 1944 film “Double Indemnity.” 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 play’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 – he directed her mother, Bette Midler, in the 1988 film “Beaches.” However, this link played no role in her casting, according to Douglas Aibel, the Vineyard’s artistic director: “She won that part on her own merits. She’s a phenomenal young talent.”