Public Theater Alum O'Hare, Hoffman, Leibman, Portman, Wolfe Fill Braff Film "Garden State"

News   Public Theater Alum O'Hare, Hoffman, Leibman, Portman, Wolfe Fill Braff Film "Garden State" The Public Theater stars Denis O'Hare, Jackie Hoffman, Ron Leibman, Natalie Portman and even George C. Wolfe are featured in the film "Garden State," written and directed by fellow Public grad and "Scrubs" star Zach Braff.

The lauded, film festival darling was released in select cities, July 30. The film, which is garnering much buzz for first-time director Braff, will open wide across the nation Aug. 20.

Filmed mainly in the titular state of New Jersey, the story finds a young man (Braff) who returns home to his estranged family in the Garden State for the first time in ten years to attend his mother's funeral. Graverobbers, a modern knight, a geological anamoly and a Jackie Hoffman rendition of Lionel Richie's "Three Times A Lady" sung in elegy fill the coming-of-age tale.

Braff appeared in The Public Theater/New York Shakespeare Festival staging of Twelfth Night. Portman (The Diary of Anne Frank) took to the summer Delacorte Theatre stage in The Seagull. Departing Public producer George C. Wolfe (Caroline, or Change) makes a cameo appearance in the film.

Stage stars also featured in the cast include Peter Sarsgaard (Burn This, "Shattered Glass"), Denis O'Hare (Assassins, Take Me Out), Jackie Hoffman (Hairspray, The Kvetching Continues), Ron Leibman (Angels in America, A Dybbuk), Ian Holm (The Homecoming), Jean Smart (The Man Who Came to Dinner), Austin Lysy (Hobson's Choice), Ann Dowd (Candida), Michael Weston, (Snakebit), Jayne Houdyshell (Well), Debbon Ayer (The Sad Lament of Pecos Bill...) and Aunjanue Ellis (Drowning Crow).

For more information on the film, visit www.foxsearchlight.com/gardenstate.

Natalie Portman and Zach Braff in Fox Searchlight's "Garden State"
Natalie Portman and Zach Braff in Fox Searchlight's "Garden State"