By Joseph Marzullo
13 Jun 2013
The one-night-only production of Pirates of Penzance was directed by Tony Award winner Ted Sperling (The Light in the Piazza, See What I Wanna See), with musical staging by original choreographer Graciela Daniele (Ragtime, Once On This Island). James Moore was musical director.
The 1980 production of the Gilbert and Sullivan operetta was adapted by William Elliot. It was first staged at the Delacorte by Wilford Leach in August 1980 prior to transferring to a Tony Award-winning Broadway run in December.
In addition to Kline (Cyrano, On the Twentieth Century, "A Fish Called Wanda") as the Pirate King, the cast boasted Tony Award winner Close (Sunset Boulevard, Death and the Maiden) as Ruth, Eric Idle (Spamalot) as the Sergeant, Tony winner Martin Short (Little Me, The Goodbye Girl) as Major-General Stanley, Tony winner Anika Noni Rose (Caroline, or Change, "Dreamgirls") as Mabel, Tony nominee Groff (Spring Awakening) as Frederick, Tony nominee Montego Glover (Memphis) as Kate, Tony nominee Norm Lewis (Porgy and Bess) as Samuel, Betsy Wolfe (The Last Five Years, The Mystery of Edwin Drood) as Edith and Rocío Del Mar Vallés (Giant, Zorro) as Isabel.
The ensemble included Becca Ayers, Craig Bennett, Sarah Bolt, Alvin Crawford, Doug Eskew, Maryann Hu, Amy Justman, Justin Keyes, Orville Mendoza, Darius Nichols, Eliseo Román, Martín Solá, Asa Somers, Matthew Stocke, Frank Vlastnik and Kevin Vortmann.
Meryl Streep hosted the evening that paid tribute to late Academy Award-winning writer Nora Ephron ("When Harry Met Sally," "Sleepless in Seattle"), who died June 26, 2012. Ephron's new play Lucky Guy opened on Broadway April 1.
The Public Theater will plant a flowering cherry tree in Central Park across from the Delacorte Theater in honor of Ephron. Stringer, Arielle Tepper Madover and Renée Beaumont served as gala co-chairs for the event.
The Public's Shakespeare in the Park season features The Comedy of Errors, starring Jesse Tyler Ferguson and Hamish Linklater (through June 30); and the new musical adaptation of Love's Labour's Lost, directed and written by Alex Timbers with songs by Michael Friedman (July 23-Aug. 18).