The Public Theater's Central Park production of Julius Caesar will officially open Aug. 20. The show -- which stars Dennis Boutsikaris as the lean and hungry Cassius, Jeffrey Wright as the loyal Antony, Jamey Sheridan as the conflicted Brutus and David McCallum as Caesar -- was to have begun performances on Aug. 8, but delayed its first preview until Aug. 9.
A spokesperson for the Public said the recent rains have resulted in a lot of missed rehearsal time for the show, which is performed in the open air. The first preview was canceled to allow for additional work on the production.
The tragedy will run through Sept. 3. Barry Edelstein is the director
Boutsikaris is still well remembered for his turn as a conflicted painter in Donald Margulies' breakthrough play, Sight Unseen. He won an Obie Award for the performance. Following that appearance, however, he headed west and starred in various television series and movies and has rarely been seen on the stage.
Wright is best known for playing the male nurse in Tony Kushner's Angels in America, and he's received acclaim for his featured role in the film remake, "Shaft." Sheridan has been seen in such films as "The Ice Storm" and recently finished filming on a television movie of Hamlet, in which he played Claudius. McCallum appeared on Broadway in Amadeus and Off-Broadway in Communicating Doors. The historic tragedy, Julius Caesar, tells of the murder of the Roman leader at the hands of his compatriots and the messy aftermath. Designers will be Narelle Sissons (scenic) and Don Holder (lighting). Edelstein is artistic director of Classic Stage Company in New York City, where he piloted The Alchemist this past season.
The summer Central Parker season began with Shakespeare's A Winter's Tale, directed by Brian Kulick.
Tickets for the play 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