As first reported by Playbill.com, Tony and Academy Award winner Kevin Kline ( Cyrano, On the Twentieth Century, "A Fish Called Wanda") will reprise his performance as the Pirate King – a role he originated in the 1980 Shakespeare in the Park production.
The evening will also feature Tony Award winner Glenn Close ( Sunset Boulevard, Death and the Maiden) as Ruth, Eric Idle ( Spamalot) as the Sergeant and Tony winner Martin Short ( Little Me, The Goodbye Girl) as Major-General Stanley.
Newly added are Tony winner Rose ( Caroline, or Change, "Dreamgirls") as Mabel, Tony nominee Glover ( Memphis) as Kate, Tony nominee Groff ( Spring Awakening) as Frederick and Tony nominee Lewis ( Porgy and Bess) as Samuel.
The one-night-only production will be 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. James Moore will musical direct. The 1980 production of the Gilbert and Sullivan operetta was adapted by William Elliot and choreographed by Daniele. 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.
Meryl Streep and Sir Howard Stringer will host the evening that will pay 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 will serve 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 (May 28-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).
PHOTO SPECIAL: 50 Years of Shakespeare in the Park at the Delacorte