Public sets Central Park slate

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.

Popular on Variety

More Legit

  • Tina Turner The Musical

    How 'Tina: The Tina Turner Musical' Tells the Icon's Traumatic Story

    It wasn’t the response Tali Pelman had hoped to receive. The group creative managing director of Stage Entertainment had traveled to Küsnacht, Switzerland, with one goal in mind: Convince Tina Turner that her life could be the stuff of a successful stage musical. “We walked in the door,” Pelman remembers. “Tina was already there, and she greeted [...]

  • Ben McKenzie

    'Gotham' Star Ben McKenzie to Make Broadway Debut in 'Grand Horizons'

    “Gotham” star Ben McKenzie will make his Broadway debut in Bess Wohl’s “Grand Horizons.” He joins a cast that includes Oscar nominees Jane Alexander (“Kramer vs. Kramer,” “The Great White Hope”) and James Cromwell (“Babe,” “L.A. Confidential”). The show has a strictly limited 10-week run and begins previews on Dec. 23, 2019, before officially opening [...]

  • The Great Society review

    Listen: Brian Cox on 'Succession,' Shakespeare, and the Crisis We're In

    Brian Cox is having a pop-culture moment with “Succession,” the buzzy HBO series in which he stars. But he’s also an accomplished theater actor with plenty of experience doing Shakespeare — and it serves him well in both “Succession” and in his current Broadway show, “The Great Society.” Listen to this week’s podcast below: Cox [...]

  • Scooby Doo Ella Louise Allaire Martin

    Scooby-Doo Live Theater Tour Is Goofy Dane's Latest Adventure

    From its 1969 start as a Saturday morning kids mystery cartoon series “Scooby-Doo, Where Are You!” starring its titular, talking Great Dane and his four teenaged friends, has made adventure its staple. Once Hanna-Barbera’s successor, Warner Bros. Animation, took the leash, Scooby and company became a comic book, a board game, a series of video [...]

  • Tootsie Santino Fontana

    'Tootsie' Ending Broadway Run in January

    “Tootsie,” the critically acclaimed musical adaptation of the 1982 classic film comedy, will play its final Broadway performance on Jan. 5, 2020. When it wraps up its run, the show will have logged 293 regular and 25 preview performances at the cavernous Marquis Theatre, where it sometimes labored to draw big crowds. Last week, “Tootsie” [...]

  • Laurel Griggs

    Laurel Griggs, Broadway and 'SNL' Actress, Dies at 13

    Laurel Griggs, who starred in Broadway’s “ONCE the Musical” as Ivanka, has died. She was 13. An obituary posted to Dignity Memorial indicates she died on Nov. 5, and Griggs’ grandfather wrote on Facebook that her death was due to a massive asthma attack. Griggs made her Broadway debut when she was six years old [...]

  • West End celling collapse

    Ceiling Collapse at 'Death of a Salesman' Leads to Theater Closure, Boycott Threats

    The West End revival of “Death of a Salesman” has moved into a temporary space after parts of the ceiling of Piccadilly Theatre collapsed during a Wednesday night performance. Five audience members sustained minor injuries and were taken to area hospitals. The theater will remain closed for the rest of the week. In the meantime, [...]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content