Dylan Baker, most recently seen in Second Stage's revival of That Championship Season and in the movie "Happiness," will star as the title character in Moliere's classic comedy Tartuffe, scheduled to be the second offering in the Public Theater's summer season at the Delacorte Theatre in Central Park. Dana Ivey and Charles Kimbrough will also star, confirmed a Public spokesperson. Mark Brokaw will pilot the production, which will run Aug. 10-Sept. 5.
Tartuffe concerns a venal and libidinous religious hypocrite who holds a household under his thrall until being exposed for what he is. When first presented in 1664 France, the sharp satire created such a furor that the pious of Paris suppressed the play. It was not performed for another three years, and then in an altered version.
Ivey's recent New York credits include Sex and Longing and The Last Night of Ballyhoo, both on Broadway. She was seen this past season at Playwrights Horizons in The Uneasy Chair. Ivey is currently rehearsing the Hartford Stage production of Horton Foote's The Death of Papa, scheduled to begin previews May 27, open June 2 and end June 27.
Kimbrough has also acted at Playwrights Horizons, in A.R. Gurney's Later Life. Though he has many other theater credits, he is best known as Jim Dial, the stiff anchorman from the sitcom "Murphy Brown."
Tartuffe will mark a change of pace for Brokaw, who is best known in New York for his work on contemporary plays such as The Dying Gaul, This Is Our Youth and 2.5 Minute Ride. Regionally, however, Brokaw has recently mounted productions of The Glass Menagerie and A Month in the Country. *
Allison Janney and Jay O. Sanders will spar as Kate and Petruchio in the New York Shakespeare Festival/Public Theater production of The Taming of the Shrew in Central Park June 17-July 11.
Lending comic support are Mario Cantone (Love! Valour! Compassion!) as Grumio and Max Wright (Lincoln Center's Ivanov and Twelfth Night) as Christopher Sly. Erika Alexander (TV's "Living Single") will play Bianca.
Also in the cast are Regina Bellantese, Reg E. Cathey, Magaly Colimon, Danyon Davis, Scott Denny, Ramon De Ocampo, MacIntyre Dixon, Dion Flynn, Damon Gupton, Stephen Mo Hanan, Peter Jacobson, Tom Mardirosian, Don Mayo, Olga Merediz, Rio Puertollano, Evan Robertson and Chad Smith. Mel Shapiro directs. Designers are Karl Eigsti (sets), Marina Draghici (costumes) and Brian MacDevitt (lights). Original music is by composer Mark Bennett.
In recent seasons, the Public has scheduled works other than Shakespeare's for the park season. Last year, for instance, saw a revival of Thornton Wilder's The Skin of Our Teeth. In 1997, George C. Wolfe mounted the musical On the Town, later bringing it to Broadway in a revised form.