Greg Pierce (l.) wrote “The Landing,” David Hyde Pierce (r.) stars in it, and Broadway veteran John Kander composed the music.
It’s one family reunion you won’t mind sitting through.
David Hyde Pierce — Niles Crane now and forever for “Frasier”-philes — joins writer Greg Pierce, his nephew, in the new musical “The Landing,” opening Wednesday at E. 15th St.’s Vineyard Theatre.
It’s the first time they’ve done a show together, but the two have the kind of rapport that can only be developed over three and a half decades of birthdays, graduations and gatherings.
David says he “never touched the diapers,” but he’s been there for Greg’s big events. “We’re a very close family. Greg was in Vermont. I was in Saratoga Springs. I watched Greg grow up.”
Both men are now in New York — the upper West Side for David, 54, and the West Village for Greg, 35 — and David is watching his nephew’s rise in the literary world.
And now he’s taking part, playing several roles in Greg’s first musical. It’s a trio of shorts about being careful what you wish for, scored by the venerable composer John Kander.
“It’s a brand-new piece of theater, so it’s constantly being shaped,” says David. “It’s been a nice window into Greg’s creative process that I wouldn’t normally get.”
And vice versa.
“It’s been a blast to get to know that side of Dave,” says Greg. “We know each other very well, but in a different way. A theater rehearsal room is a revealing place.”
David Hyde Pierce and Julia Murney in “The Landing”
One where David feels most at home. Since “Frasier” ended in 2004, he has worked steadily onstage — from “Spamalot” in 2005 to last season’s “Vanya and Sonia and Masha and Spike.”
David has also helped his nephew build a reputation as a writer, helping fine-tune Greg’s 2012 Off-Broadway drama “Slowgirl,” which traced an awkward reunion between niece and uncle.
The pair came together for a reading of “Slowgirl” at the home of Kander, who created “Cabaret” and “Chicago” with Fred Ebb. “The Landing” is Kander’s first musical since Ebb’s death in 2004 — but it’s not his first time working with David and Greg. David won a Tony Award for Kander’s detective musical “Curtains,” and Greg looked to fellow Oberlin grad Kander as a mentor.
“When I moved to New York, there were other students from the school who were interested in theater,” Greg says. “John was very supportive — and got involved in our work.”
Family ties run deep in this play — and some theater buffs are crying nepotism. But “The Landings’” director, Walter Bobbie, best known for “Chicago,” rejects that notion.
“Listen, they’re not working together because they’re uncle and nephew,” he says. “They’re working together because they’re gifted and confident artists.”
That said, David anticipates plenty of Pierces in the house for tonight’s premiere.
“I expect a lot of family,” he says.
“The Landing” opens Wednesday at the Vineyard Theatre, 108 E. 15th St., and runs through Nov. 24.