Last chance to see an actor exit, pursued by a bear. Okay -- an actor exit followed somewhat leisurely by a man draped in a bear skin. Such is one of the directorial touches of Brian Kulick's well-received production of Shakespeare's A Winter's Tale, which ends its run at Central Park's Delacorte Theatre on July 16. The Public Theater offering began previews on June 21 and opened July 6.
Among the better-known names in the cast are Jonathan Hadary (Gypsy, The Destiny of Me); Randy Danson (The Treatment), who plays the headstrong courtier's wife, Paulina; Keith David (Seven Guitars), who is the jealous king, Leontes; Bronson Pinchot (Putting It Together), who essays con man, Autolycus; and Henry Stram (Titanic), who plays faithful servant to two kings, Camillo.
Also in the cast are Aunjanue Ellis, Bill Buell, Michael Stuhlbarg, Graham Winston, Emma Bowers, Lucia Brawley, Kena Tangi Dorsey, Phyllis A. Johnson, Francis Jue, Wayne Kasserman, Jesse Pennington, Daniel G. Pino, Jenny Sandler, Gareth Saxe, Erica M. Tazel, Paul W. Tiesler and Michael Traynor.
The late-career romance, Winter's Tale, is the Bard's story of jealousy, punishment, exile, loss and, ultimately, forgiveness, set in Sicilia and Bohemia. Scenic designer Riccardo Hernàndez provides the wide sloping white stage and the flexible, wall-length Renaissance paintings which form the boundaries of the various scenes. The large fields of blue and red light are courtesy of Ken Posner. Completing the design team are Anita Yavich (costumes) and Mark Bennett (music).
Kulick, a Public regular, staged A Dybbuk and Timon of Athens, among other works, for the nonprofit. His most recent credit was Adam Baum and the Jew Movie, which plays the Blue Light Theatre Company Off-Broadway last fall. *
The Public Theater's free outdoor summer presentations at Central Park's Delacorte Theatre will continue with Julius Caesar, directed by Barry Edelstein, and starring Jeffrey Wright, Aug. 8-Sept. 7.
The historic tragedy, Julius Caesar, tells of the rise and murder of the Roman leader at the hands of his compatriots. Designers will be Narelle Sissons (scenic) and Don Holder (lighting). Edelstein is artistic director of Classic Stage Company in New York City.
Tickets for both plays are free (only two tickets per person), and can be picked up on performance days for that evening at The Delacorte Theater in Central Park starting at 1 PM. The closest entrances to The Delacorte are at 81st Street and Central Park West or 79th Street and Fifth Avenue. Tickets are also distributed from 1-3 PM at The Joseph Papp Public Theater, 425 Lafayette Street (near Astor Place).
For additional information about Shakespeare in Central Park, call (212) 539-8750 or visit The Public Theater website, www.publictheater.org.
--By Robert Simonson