Howard and Pisoni Lead Cast of Scrappy Public As You Like It Beginning March 25

News   Howard and Pisoni Lead Cast of Scrappy Public As You Like It Beginning March 25
The six unknowns who will bring As You Like It, the Shakespeare comedy of exile, love and disguise in the forest of Arden, to life at the Public Theater's Martinson Hall this spring have been announced. The show will begin previews March 25 and open on April 7.

They are Drew Cortese (as Lebeau, Duke Frederick, Duke Senior, Silvius), Johnny Giacalone (Touchstone, Jaques), Bryce Dallas Howard (Rosalind), Jennifer Ikeda (Adam, Phebe, Audrey), Lethia Nall (Celia, William) and Lorenzo Pisoni (Orlando, Oliver).

Howard is perhaps the best known of the sextet. She came to attention last summer as a haughty, flirtatious teenager in Alan Ayckbourn's House and Garden at Manhattan Theatre Club.

Erica Schmidt has conceived and will direct the production. Schmidt piloted a very different work, the spoof Debbie Does Dallas, at the Jane Street Theater last fall. That show recently closed. Schmidt's other credits include Spanish Girl at Second Stage Uptown, Romeo and Juliet at the Outdoor Garage and The White Devil at The Directors Company.

This As You Like It began life at the 2000 New York International Fringe Festival. Angela Goethals starred as the classic Shakesperean heroine Rosalind, who dons a man's clothes to win the love of Orlando. The show won the FringeNYC Overall Excellence Award for Schmidt and transferred to a brief Oct. 10-29 run at 111 Times Square.

The Public Theater website describes As You Like It like this: "Using only their own indefatigable imaginations and the infinite imagery of Shakespeare's language, a young company of six actors takes on all 15 roles. First presented in a parking lot on the Lower East Side, this fast paced physical tour-de-force captures the raw energy and beautiful simplicity of one of Shakespeare's most clever comedies." Schmidt has a taste for avant garde approaches. With Debbie Does Dallas, she helped transform a famous X-rated movie into a tongue-in cheek musical. And her Romeo and Juliet, which also starred Goethals, was staged in the outdoor garage space next to the Present Company Theatorium on the Lower East Side's Stanton Street. The stark, utilitarian facility is walled on four sides with a cement floor and no ceiling.

The show replaces the previously-announced Two Noble Kinsmen, which is no longer listed on the Public website as being part of the 2002 03 line-up. The show has been bumped back to 2003-04.

For ticket information, call (212) 239-6200.

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