Public Theater's Starry Romeo and Juliet Begins Previews June 6 at the Delacorte

By Andrew Gans
and Kenneth Jones
June 6, 2007

The Michael Greif-directed Romeo and Juliet the first summer 2007 production of Shakespeare in the Park at the Delacorte Theater in Central Park begins previews June 6.

The first preview, originally scheduled for June 5, was delayed one day by the recent rain. A June 4 press announcement stated, "The rains have delayed the preparation of scenery and production elements for Romeo and Juliet and have kept the cast from necessary rehearsals." The remainder of the run, however, will continue as scheduled.

Heading the cast in the title roles are Oscar Isaac, who was seen in the Shakespeare in the Park revival of Two Gentleman of Verona, and Lauren Ambrose, who played angst-ridden teenager Claire in the acclaimed HBO series "Six Feet Under." Emmy winner Camryn Manheim, best known for her role in TV's "The Practice," is the Nurse.

The company also features Opal Alladin (Lady Capulet), George Bartenieff (Lord Montague/Apothecary/Cousin Capulet), Ari Brand (Ensemble), Anthony Carrigan (Ensemble), Dan Colman (Paris), Michael Cristofer (Lord Capulet), Tiffany Danielle (Ensemble), Seth Duerr (Ensemble), Quincy Dunn-Baker (Ensemble), Saidah Arrika Ekulona (Lady Montague), Christian Felix (Ensemble), Brian Tyree Henry (Tybalt), Susan Hyon (Ensemble), Orville Mendoza (Ensemble), Owiso Odera (Benvolio), Jeff Omura (Ensemble), Lucas Papaelias (Ensemble), Austin Pendleton (Friar Laurence), Alex Podulke (Ensemble), Mary Rasmussen (Ensemble), Cornelius Smith, Jr. (Ensemble), Alexander Sovronsky (Ensemble), Timothy D. Stickney (Prince Escalus), and Christopher Evan Welch (Mercutio).

This production of Romeo and Juliet marks the first time since 1968 that Shakespeare's tale of romantic woe has played the Delacorte. The limited engagement, which runs through July 8, will officially open June 24.

The creative team also includes Mark Wendland (scenic designer), Emilio Sosa (costume designer), Donald Holder (lighting designer), Michael Friedman (composer), ACME Sound Partners (sound design), Rick Sordelet (fight director) and Sergio Trujillo (choreographer).

Lauren Ambrose made her Broadway debut in the Lincoln Center Theater revival of Awake and Sing! In London she co-starred in the National Theatre's production of Sam Shepard's Buried Child, directed by Matthew Warchus.

Oscar Isaac appeared in the Public's 2005 production of Two Gentlemen of Verona. His other theatrical credits include Beauty of the Father (MTC) as well as Arrivals and Departures, When It's Cocktail Time in Cuba and Spinning Into Butter. Isaac's screen credits include "The Nativity Story," "Law & Order: Criminal Intent" and the upcoming "In Bloom," "PU-239" and "Guerrilla."

Camryn Manheim earned an Emmy Award for her work in TV's "The Practice" and is currently a regular on the CBS show "Ghost Whisperer." She appeared in the Public Theater productions of Wake Up, I'm Fat; Two Gentlemen of Verona; and Woyzeck, and won an Obie Award for Missing Persons at the Atlantic Theater Company. She has also appeared in such films as "The Road to Wellville" and "Scary Movie 3."

Michael Greif a 2007 Tony nominee for his direction of Grey Gardens recently directed Diana Son's Satellites and the launch performance of Suzan-Lori Parks' 365 Days/365 Plays for The Public. Other recent work includes John Guare's Landscape of the Body (Signature Theater), Nilo Cruz's Beauty of the Father (MTC) and Mr. Marmalade (Roundabout).

Performances of Shakespeare in the Park are Tuesday through Sunday at 8 PM. Tickets are free and are available on the day of the performance (two per person) at the Delacorte Theater in Central Park beginning at 1 PM and at The Public Theater, 425 Lafayette Street (near Astor Place), from 1-3 PM.

The closest entrances to the Delacorte are at 81st Street and Central Park West or 70th Street and Fifth Avenue.

For additional information about Shakespeare in the Park, call (212) 539-8750 or visit The Public Theater website at www.publictheater.org.

The Public Theater is under the leadership of Oskar Eustis, artistic director, and Mara Manus, executive director.

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The Shakespeare in the Park summer season will continue with A Midsummer Night's Dream Aug. 7-Sept. 9. Daniel Sullivan will direct.