The Public Theater today presents Kevin Kline as Romeo and Meryl Streep as Juliet in a one-night-only benefit reading of ROMEO AND JULIET - the 50th Anniversary of the opening of the Delacorte Theater in Central Park. The cast will also feature F. Murray Abraham (Friar Laurence); Christine Baranski (Nurse); John Cullum (Capulet); Raúl Esparza (Sampson, Apothecary, Watchman 1); David Harbour (Abraham, Capulet Servant, Paris' Page); Bill Irwin (Montague); Jesse L. Martin (Gregory, Friar John, Watchman 2); Sandra Oh (Lady Montague); Phylicia Rashad (Lady Capulet); Jerry Stiller (Peter); Michael Stuhlbarg (Paris); Christopher Walken (Mercutio); Sharon Washington (Stage Directions); Sam Waterston (Benvolio); and Jeffrey Wright (Tybalt).
Conceived by Public Theater founder Joe Papp as a way to make great theater accessible to all, over the past five decades, more than five million people have enjoyed more than 150 free productions of Shakespeare and other classical works and musicals at the Delacorte.
Directed by Daniel Sullivan, this star-studded cast will be joined on stage by live musicians playing original music by award-winning composer Jeanine Tesori.
Before the reading of ROMEO AND JULIET, Tony Award winner Al Pacino will be honored at an al fresco dinner in Central Park for his body of work with The Public Theater, going back to the early 1970s and including his acclaimed performance as Shylock in the Shakespeare in the Park production of The Merchant of Venice in 2010. The benefit event is being chaired by Public Theater Board Members Arielle Tepper Madover and Alexandra Shiva.
For more information on purchasing tickets for The Public Theater's Anniversary Gala, please call (212) 539-8547 or visit www.shakespeareinthepark.org.
Photo Credit: Walter McBride / Retna Ltd.