Christopher Walken, Jeffrey Wright, Jesse L. Martin, Raul Esparza, Sam Waterston and Jerry Stiller are among the thesps lined up to join Meryl Streep and Kevin Kline in the Public Theater’s one-night-only reading of “Romeo and Juliet.” Composer Jeanine Tesori has signed on to pen original music.
Streep and Kline will play the titular teenage lovers in the Shakespeare play, presented as part of the Public’s annual gala at the Delacorte Theater in Central Park. The roles of the other actors have yet to be announced.
The reading, helmed by Daniel Sullivan (“The Merchant of Venice”), assembles a team of Public alums, many with multiple credits with the Gotham nonprofit. Walken (“The Seagull”), Wright (“Julius Caesar”), Martin (“Merchant”), Esparza (“Twelfth Night”), Waterston (“Hamlet”) and Stiller (“Much Ado About Nothing”) have all appeared in Shakespeare in the Park productions, and Tesori (“Caroline, or Change”) composed the music for Park outing “Mother Courage and her Children,” which also starred Streep and Kline.
Al Pacino, who toplined the Public’s successful Park staging of “Merchant of Venice,” is set to be honored at the gala. Event is skedded for June 18, on a night when the first Park production of the season, “As You Like It,” is dark.