Perhaps it's an actors' truism, but every nerd wants to play Cary Grant, every Jew wants to play Jesus, every salt-of-the-earth wants to play Hitler, and every pin-up wants to play a rocket scientist. No surprise then, that rugged Marlboro man Tom Selleck has always wanted to play the iconoclastic, slovenly and free-spirited Murray Burns in A Thousand Clowns. Since Selleck has made his fame and fortune as TV's "Magnum P.I.", as well as a movie career that's included "Three Men and a Baby" and "Her Alibi," he can actually make his dream come true. As such, Selleck will be starring in a mounting of A Thousand Clowns to be staged in Austin, TX, in November, before coming to Manhattan. In its story about the deal, the New York Times noted (Feb. 25) that Selleck had talked to author Herb Gardner about doing the show back in 1996, but that was just when the Roundabout Theatre Company had put their Broadway production together, one that starred Judd Hirsch and Marin Hinkle.
Asked why he'd be interested in the role of a man who shirks work in favor of an easy, careless lifestyle, Selleck, 55, told the Times, "I'm 6'4". I was always being asked to do the other guy, the guy who always gets the girl."
Author Gardner told Playbill On-Line (Feb. 25) John Rando would direct the comedy, with rehearsals to begin in Texas in October. Gardner's representatives at ICM would not comment on the project.