As previously reported, Academy Award-winning director Ang Lee ("Brokeback Mountain") directs the film adaptation of Elliot Tiber's memoir about the historic 1969 rock concert that took place on Max Yasgur's farm in Bethel, NY. James Schamus has written the screenplay for Focus Features.
Shot on location last summer and fall, "Taking Woodstock" features Tony nominees Jonathan Groff (Spring Awakening) and Kevin Chamberlin (The Ritz, Seussical), Tony Award winners Dan Fogler (Spelling Bee) and Liev Schreiber (Talk Radio), Olivier Award winners Henry Goodman (Tartuffe, The Producers) and Imelda Staunton (Entertaining Mr. Sloane, The Corn Is Green), as well as Skylar Astin (Spring Awakening), Paul Dano (Things We Want), Kelli Garner (Dog Sees God); Mamie Gummer (Dangerous Liaisons, Uncle Vanya), Stephen Kunken (Frost/Nixon, Rock 'n' Roll, Our House), Richard Thomas (A Naked Girl on the Appian Way) and more.
Groff stars as Woodstock concert organizer Michael Lang, with comedian and "Daily Show" contributor Demetri Martin as Elliot Tiber, who offers his parents' upstate motel to serve as the planning HQ for the Woodstock festival.
Eugene Levy portrays farmer Max Yasgur, Imelda Staunton and Henry Goodman are cast as Tiber's parents and Kevin Chamberlin as a local banker threatening foreclosure on the Tiber's farm.
Mamie Gummer appears as Lang's assistant, with Dan Fogler as a local theatre leader, Emile Hirsch as a Vietnam veteran, Paul Dano and Zoe Kazan as hippies, Jeffrey Dean Morgan as Tiber's closeted lover and Schreiber as a transvestite at the concert. "Taking Woodstock," according to press notes, "is a 1969-set true story about a man, Elliot Tiber (Martin), who inadvertently played a pivotal role in making the Woodstock Music and Arts Festival into the famed happening it was. Working as an interior designer in Greenwich Village during culturally and politically exciting times, Mr. Tiber felt empowered by the gay rights movement. But he was also still staked to the family business – a Catskills motel. Upon hearing that a planned concert had lost its permit from the neighboring town of Wallkill, NY, Mr. Tiber called producer Michael Lang (Groff) at Woodstock Ventures to offer his motel. Soon the Woodstock staff was moving into the El Monaco; half a million people were on their way to Mr. Tiber's neighbor's Max Yasgur's (Levy) farm in White Lake, NY; and Mr. Tiber found himself swept up in a generation-defining experience that would change his life, and American culture, forever."
The summer release of "Taking Woodstock" commemorates the 40th anniversary of the music festival.