Jesse Tyler Ferguson in 'Comedy' kicks off season
A new production of “The Comedy of Errors” starring Jesse Tyler Ferguson and a world preem tuner by the “Bloody Bloody Andrew Jackson” duo make up the 2013 slate at the Public Theater’s Shakespeare in the Park.
Lineup will launch with “Comedy,” set to star Ferguson (“Modern Family”) and Hamish Linklater (“The New Adventures of Old Christine”), two New York stage vets who previously appeared together in the Shakespeare in the Park 2010 staging of “The Merchant of Venice” toplined by Al Pacino. Daniel Sullivan, helmer of that “Merchant” as well as the 2009 “Twelfth Night” that starred Anne Hathaway, directs.
Season continues with “Love’s Labour’s Lost” from composer Michael Friedman and director-book writer Alex Timbers, whose musical “Bloody Bloody Andrew Jackson” played two runs at the Public in 2009 and 2010 before going on to a Broadway run.
The annual Shakespeare in the Park season, produced at Central Park’s outdoor Delacorte Theater, is one of the higher profile legit events in Gotham every summer, with recent years attracting starry casts that have included Hathaway, Pacino, and last year Amy Adams in “Into the Woods.”
The programming, for which the majority of tickets are distributed free, also has yielded a crop of Main Stem shows including “Merchant” and the 2009 revival of “Hair.” Tuner “The Mystery of Edwin Drood,” now on the boards in a Rialto revival, originated at Shakespeare in the Park in 1985 before shifting to Broadway later that year.
“Love’s Labour’s Lost” will be the first new Bard tuner to bow at the park since “Two Gentlemen of Verona” in 1971.
In the mistaken-identity shenanigans of “Comedy of Errors,” Linklater plays Antipholus and Ferguson portrays servant Dromio, two men from Syracuse who arrive in Ephesus and are immediately mistaken for their separated-at-birth identical twins, also named Antipholus and Dromio.
Further casting for “Comedy” as well as for “Love’s Labour’s” remains to be locked in. John Lee Beatty will design the sets for both titles, with additional members of the creative team still to be inked.
Timbers, who recently helmed the premier of the tuner version of “Rocky” in Hamburg, will direct David Byrne musical “Here Lies Love” at the Public in the spring.
“Comedy” plays a five-week run at the Delacorte that starts May 28, with “Love’s Labour’s” set for a four-week stint there starting July 23.