The Public Theater has revealed the cast of its upcoming Shakespeare in the Park production of Much Ado About Nothing, directed by Kenny Leon. As previously announced, The Color Purple Tony nominee and Orange Is the New Black star Danielle Brooks will star as Beatrice in the Central Park staging, set to begin May 21 at the Delacorte Theater.
An ensemble of all-black artists will join her, including Tony winner Chuck Cooper as Leonato, Boardwalk Empire's Erik LaRay Harvey as Antonio/Verges, Grantham Coleman (Buzzer) as Benedick, Jeremie Harris (Legion) as Claudio, Daniel Croix Henderson (Seven Guitars, Purchase Rep.) as Balthasar, Tyrone Mitchell Henderson (Yale Rep's An Enemy of the People) as Friar Francis/Sexton, Tiffany Denise Hobbs (Yale Rep’s Twelfth Night) as Ursula, Lateefah Holder (Modern Family) as Dogberry, Billy Eugene Jones (A Raisin in the Sun) as Don Pedro, Margaret Odette (The Convent) as Hero, Hubert Point-Du Jour (Happyish) as Don John, Jaime Lincoln Smith (Pipeline) as Boracchio, and Olivia Washington (The Butler) as Margaret.
Rounding out the company are Jamar Brathwaite, Javen Crosby, Denzel Fields, Tayler HArris, Kai Heath, LaWanda Hopkins, Jazmine Stewart, and Latra A. Wilson.
The Shakespeare in the Park season also includes Coriolanus and a Public Works presentation of a new stage adaptation of Disney’s Hercules.