Public Theater Announces Full Cast of Much Ado; Line-Up for New "Joe's Pub in the Park"

News   Public Theater Announces Full Cast of Much Ado; Line-Up for New "Joe's Pub in the Park" Shakespeare won't be the only thing the Public Theater is importing to Central Park this summer. The nonprofit, which annually provides the Delacorte Theater with at least one work by the Bard, will also fill the open air theatre with music.

"Joe's Pub in the Park," named for the night spot and cabaret hall which for the last five years has flanked the Public Theater Lafayette Street home, will run Aug. 16-27 at the Delacorte. A summer line-up of more than a dozen musical artists will begin Aug. 16 with Bebel Gilberto. Other scheduled artists include such Joe's Pub favorites as Ute Lemper. The new venture is produced in association with MTV and VH1.

The complete roster features:

Aug. 16: Bebel Gilberto with special guest Juana Molina; $40 for general public, $35 for Public Theater members
August 17: Suzanne Vega/Jonatha Brooke with special guest Teitur; $40 for general public, $35 for Public Theater members
Aug. 18: Ute Lemper/Stew; free tickets distributed day of show
Aug. 19: Jamie Cullum/Nellie McKay with special guest Raúl Midón; free tickets distributed on day of show
Aug. 21: Antibalas Afrobeat Orchestra; Burnt Sugar: The Arkestra Chamber; Nublu Orchestra: conduction by Butch Morris; free tickets distributed on day of show
Aug. 22: Gavin DeGraw with special guests Toby Lightman and Michael Tolcher; $25 for general public, $20 for Public Theater members
Aug. 24: Todd Rundgren/Joe Jackson with special guest Ethel; $40 for general public/$35 for Public Theater members
Aug. 26: Ballet Hispanico: NightClub, Emeline Michel; free tickets distributed on day of show
Aug. 27: Mos Def presents BIG, The Spirit Music Sextet featuring Meshell Ndegeocello; $40 for general public, $35 for Public Theater members

All shows are at 7 PM. All artists and dates are subject to changes. All events are rain or shine.

Beginning June 4, reserved seating tickets to paid shows will be on sale at The Public Theater box office, 425 Lafayette Street; on-line at www.publictheater.org; and via Tele-charge, (212) 239-6200. Prices vary. Tickets to the free shows will be available on the day of the performance (two per person, please) at The Delacorte Theater in Central Park beginning at 1 PM and at The Public Theater, 425 Lafayette Street.   In other news, the full cast of Central Park's Delacorte Theatre presentation of Much Ado About Nothing, starring Jimmy Smits as the cocky Benedick and Kristen Johnston as the headstrong Beatrice, has been announced. Dates are June 22-Aug. 8.

Joining the previously announced Brian Murray as doltish constable Dogberry, Sam Waterston as local lord Leonato, and Elizabeth Waterston (Sam's daughter) as his virginal daughter Hero, will be Dominic Chianese (“The Sopranos”) as Antonio, and Sean Patrick Thomas as Borachio. Rounding out the cast are Laura Kai Chen, Manoel Felciano, Frank Faucett, Bill Heck, Andre Holland, Jayne Houdyshell (Obie winner for Well), Peter Francis James, Kevin Kelly, Dane Knell, Peter McCain, Julio Monge, Lorenzo Pisoni, Steven Skybell, Emily Swallow, and Christopher Evan Welch (Measure for Measure, Othello).

Much Ado has scenic design by Christine Jones, costume design by Jess Goldstein, lighting design by Michael Chybowski. music by Mark Bennett, choreography by Jane Comfort, and sound design by Acme Sound Partners. .

The comedy, set in Messina, concerns a group of soldiers and the impact their arrival has on the town and its residents (particularly the women). While the youthful Hero and Claudio fall in love, eternal bachelor Benedick and headstrong maid Beatrice—who profess to despise one another—rail against the idiocy of romantic alliances between men and women. Meanwhile, the vengeful bastard Don John plots the undoing of Hero and Claudio's union.

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