Brian Murray will once again be a farceur, when he reprises his 1983-84 Broadway role in Noises Off at New Jersey's Paper Mill Playhouse, Jan. 5-Feb. 13, 2000.
Playing a farce director named Lloyd Dallas, Murray will get swept up into the hit farce-within-a-farce by Michael Frayn. The play, about a fifth-rate acting company touring in an awful sex farce called Nothing On, was nominated for a Best Play Tony Award in 1984. It premiered in London in 1982.
James Brennan will direct a cast that includes Anne Rogers as Dottie Otley. Rogers is the British singing stage star (The Boyfriend) who appeared in Paper Mill's Gigi and It Runs In the Family. On Broadway, she starred in Walking Happy, Half a Sixpence and 42nd Street.
Official Paper Mill opening is Jan. 7.
The company also includes Fiona Gallagher, Lisby Larson, Leo Leyden, Graeme Malcolm, Jonathan F. McClain, Blair Sams, Ed Staudenmayer, Bill Kocis, Natalie Mosco and John Plumpis. The play's title is a theatrical term referring to offstage sound effects, usually made by the actors themselves.
Designers are Michael Anania (sets), Jan Finnell (costumes), Jack Mehler (lights) and David B. Smith (sound).
Before joining Noises Off rehearsals, Murray wrapped up a pre-New York engagement of the musical, Finian's Rainbow (playing Finian himself) on Dec. 12 in Cleveland. The revival production also played Miami and is waiting for a Broadway theatre to open up before the end of April 2000, the cutoff for Tony Award nominations.
Murray, who appeared in summer 1998 in Lincoln Center Theatre's Twelfth Night, earned a Tony Award nomination for Best Actor (Featured Role) for The Little Foxes (1997) and Rosencrantz and Guildenstern Are Dead (1968).
Noises Off tickets are $36-$60. For Paper Mill information, call (973) 376-4343.
-- By Kenneth Jones