Garry Marshall Goes Off Broadway to Direct Hollywood Comedy

Garry Marshall will return to Off Broadway for the first time in 20 years for the New York bow of “Billy and Ray,” the Hollywood comedy that will open this fall at New York’s Vineyard Theater.

Last year Marshall helmed the world premiere of Mike Bencivenga’s play at Burbank’s Falcon Theater, the company he co-founded with his daughter. No casting for the New York staging has been set.

The storyline follows the clash of Billy Wilder and Raymond Chandler as they collaborate on the 1944 movie version of James M. Cain’s novel “Double Indemnity,” and help invent film noir in the process.

The play joins a previously announced slate at the Vineyard that also includes “Brooklynite,” the superhero musical by Michael Mayer (“Spring Awakening,” “Hedwig and the Angry Inch”) and Peter Lerman, and “Gloria,” the new play by Branden Jacobs-Jenkins (“Appropriate”).

The last New York directing credit for Marshall (“Happy Days,” “Pretty Woman”) was the 1993 production of “Wrong Turn at Lungfish,” which starred George C. Scott, Tony Danza and Jami Gertz and played Off Broadway’s Promenade Theater.

“Billy and Ray” begins previews at the Vineyard Oct. 2 prior to an Oct. 20 opening.

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