Gotham theatergoers got a double dose of al fresco socializing Tuesday night when the Public Theater raised the curtain on “Henry V” in Central Park’s Delacorte Theater. Opening night festivities kicked off with a pre-show dinner on the theater’s front lawn, then segued into a post-show reception on the patio of the park’s spooky Belvedere Castle.
Mark Wing-Davey‘s interpretation of the Bard’s war-themed play stars Gotham fave Liev Schreiber as the young king. Producer George C. Wolfe pointed out the importance of finding the right actor for the role. “You can’t do Cleopatra without Cleopatra,” he said.
Schreiber, who has appeared in two prior Shakespeare in the Park productions, had a more modest interpretation.
“I left George’s office and I thought to myself, Oh, the reason he wants to do this is not because of me. He wants to do this because it is the right play to do, right now.”
Benefit honoring longtime entertainment attorney John Breglio raised $1.3 million for the nonprofit. Theatergoers mixed with invitees Robert De Niro, Marisa Tomei, Cynthia Nixon, Kristin Davis, Kim Cattrall, Edward Norton, Conan O’Brien, Peter Jennings, Bob Balaban, Philip Seymour Hoffman, Mos Def, Juliana Margulies, Sam Rockwell, the Public’s executive director Mara Manus and Schreiber’s fellow Public Theater trustee Alec Baldwin.