When Garry Marshall recently guested on Late Night with Seth Meyers, he joked with the fellow Northwestern alum that his comedy writing days began when he was sports editor for the school’s newspaper. The football team was so bad, Marshall recalled, that it became a matter of article ledes like, ‘By the time “The Star Spangled Banner” was over, the team was 14 points behind.’
Marshall has been busy talking up Billy & Ray, a play about the collaboration of Billy Wilder and Raymond Chandler for the filmmaker’s 1946 classic Double Indemnity. Directed by Marshall and written by WABC-TV editor-producer Mike Bencivenga, it’s in previews through October 20 at the Vineyard Theatre in Union Square.
The Medill School also came up during Marshall’s conversation with American Theatre magazine editor Suzy Evans. This time, a little more formally:
“I went to the Medill School of Journalism at Northwestern, which is a great school — I learned a lot, but mostly I learned how to meet a deadline. So I’m never late. My three kids went to Northwestern, and it was the highlight of my life just a month ago when my first grandchild, Charlotte, started at Northwestern. She’s in media studies. She’s a whiz on the Internet. I don’t even have a computer.”
Marshall goes on to joke that he and Bencivenga have bonded also over their respective recent knee surgeries. Just to remind how “legendary” Mr. Marshall is: the year he graduated from Northwestern, 1956, is also the year Bencivenga was born. Billy & Ray opens October 20 and is scheduled to run through Nov. 9.
Image via: vineyardtheatre.org