The classic Shakespeare comedy will first play the McCarter Theatre March 21-April 16 and then will transfer to the Paper Mill for an April 19-May 21 engagement. Opening nights at the New Jersey theatres are set for, respectively, March 24 and April 21.
Guy Adkins will head the cast as Puck with Lea DeLaria as Bottom, Will Fowler as Demetrius, Jay Goede as Oberon/Theseus, James Martinez as Lysander, Ellen McLaughlin as Titania/Hippolyta, Stacey Sargeant as Hermia and Brenda Withers as Helena. The ensemble comprises Karl Christian, Demond Green, Reginald Holden Jennings, Adam Lobato, Christopher Mai, Jess Nager, Ryan Overberg and Stephen Payne.
The production of Midsummer will also feature original music by the pop-folk group GrooveLily. That trio — Gene Lewin, Brendan Milburn, and Valerie Vigoda — will join the ensemble onstage.
A Midsummer Night's Dream, according to press notes, "involves two sets of lovers whose romantic escapades are complicated by their entrance into the play's fairyland woods where the King and Queen of the Fairies preside. The impish character Puck creates mischief when he meets a merry band of players and the star crossed lovers."
The creative team for the production also includes Louisa Thompson (set design), Michael Krass (costume design), Scott Zielinski (lighting design), Rob Milburn and Michael Bodeen (sound design), Deena Burke (vocal coach) and Christopher Harrison (aerial design). Lea DeLaria received an Obie and a Theater World Award for her work in the Public Theater's revival of On the Town. She also starred in the Broadway revival of The Rocky Horror Show and the City Center Encores! presentation of Li'l Abner. Her other theatrical credits include Cinderella, Little Fish, Chicago, The Boys From Syracuse, The Most Fabulous Story Ever Told and As You Like It. An acclaimed stand up comic, DeLaria is also an accomplished jazz singer, and her solo recordings include "Play It Cool" and "Double Standards."
Tickets for the McCarter run are available by calling (609) 258-2787 or by visiting www.mccarter.org. For the Paper Mill engagement, call (973) 376-4343 or log on to www.papermill.org.