Linden and Murray Star in U.S. Premiere of Halpern & Johnson, March 16-April 4 in Miami

News   Linden and Murray Star in U.S. Premiere of Halpern & Johnson, March 16-April 4 in Miami
Hal Linden and Brian Murray star in the Coconut Grove Playhouse's American premiere of Lionel Goldstein's warm comedy, Halpern & Johnson, at the resident Florida theatre March 16-April 4.

David Ellenstein stages the production, which has been seen around the world after it was adapted from a teleplay. Opening at Coconut Grove in Miami is March 19.

The new staging is produced by the Coconut Grove Playhouse in Miami in association with Carol Durbin.

"Originally staged in Israel and subsequently around the world, the revealing and surprising tale explores the funny, rocky, and unusual relationship of two very different gentlemen who meet by chance and then discover they have much more in common than they could have ever imagined," according to production notes.

Halpern & Johnson marks the Coconut Grove Playhouse debut of theatre and television star Hal Linden (The Rothschilds, "Barney Miller") in the role of the gruff, sarcastic Halpern.

Brian Murray, last seen at the Coconut Grove Playhouse in Finian's Rainbow, plays the reserved Mr. Johnson. On Broadway, Murray earned three Tony Award nominations for The Crucible, The Little Foxes and Rosencrantz and Guildenstern Are Dead, and recently starred in Off-Broadway's Beckett/Albee. David Ellenstein recently staged the acclaimed production of The Chosen at the Coconut Grove and Paper Mill playhouses.

Lionel Goldstein has written numerous teleplays and films for British television, produced by the BBC, Granada TV, and Thames TV. "Mr. Halpern and Mr. Johnson" (as the original teleplay was called) was produced in 1984 for HBO, starring Laurence Olivier and Jackie Gleason, and won the ACE Award for Best Play on cable television. The theatrical world premiere was then performed in Hebrew in Tel Aviv, and subsequently in English in Sydney, Australia, in Spanish in Argentina and Uruguay, and in Portuguese in Brazil.

The designers are Paul Wonsek (sets), Ellis Tillman (costumes), Kirk Bookman (lights) and Steve Shapiro (sound).

For information, (305) 442-4000 or visit

Hal Linden (left) and Brian Murray in <i>Halpern &amp; Johnson</i>
Hal Linden (left) and Brian Murray in Halpern & Johnson
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