Actress joins cast of outdoor production
Donna Murphy has signed on to play the Witch in the upcoming Shakespeare in the Park revival of fairy tale tuner “Into the Woods.”She’ll join a cast that already includes Amy Adams, Jessie Mueller (“On a Clear Day You Can See Forever”), Gideon Glick and Ivan Hernandez in the 1987 musical by Stephen Sondheim and James Lapine. Broadway fave Murphy, last on the Rialto in “The People in the Picture” last season, won the first of her two Tony Awards for her perf in another Sondheim musical, “Passion,” in 1994. In “Into the Woods” she’ll play the part originated by Bernadette Peters in the show’s Broadway bow and then played by Vanessa Williams in the 2002 revival. Co-helmed by Timothy Sheader and Liam Steel, who staged a successful outdoor production of the tuner that played London’s Regent’s Park in 2010, the Shakespeare in the Park production of “Into the Woods” is already being eyed for Broadway potential. If a transfer materializes, the show would follow in the footsteps of prior park outings “Hair” and “The Merchant of Venice.” “Woods” joins Shakespeare comedy “As You Like It” as part of the 50th anniversary season of the Public Theater’s annual Shakespeare in the Park program. Production beings previews July 23 ahead of an Aug. 9 opening.