Right now, he's the powerful head of Urinetown!, urging the future leaders of the pee-free metropolis that they "don't be the bunny." But the mighty must fall, so Cullum will go from powerful to powerless as King Lear in Shakespeare great tragedy, Sept. 15-Oct. 7 at San Francisco Shakespeare Festival. The Lear booking doesn't interfere with the limited run of Urinetown! but does raise questions about that musical's expected move to a larger venue.
Cullum won two Tonys and an Emmy nomination for his work. The first Tony came in 1975 for Shenandoah in 1975 and the second in 1978 for On the Twentieth Century. He also starred in the original production of On a Clear Day You Can See Forever in 1966, earning another Tony nomination. Most recently, he was seen in Wendy Wasserstein's Old Money at Lincoln Center Theater. His TV credits include playing David Greene on "ER" and the bartender Holling Vincoeur.
Joining him in the cast are Julian Lopez Morillas as Gloucester, Gerald Hiken as the Fool and Jenny Lord as Regan.
New Jersey Shakespeare Festival founder Paul Barry directs. He is the only American to have directed the entire Shakespeare canon with some 72 productions of the bard under his belt.
Tickets are $26-$34. The Ira and Lenore S. Gershwin Theatre is located at 2350 Turk Boulevard. For reservations, call (415) 392-4400. The San Francisco Shakespeare Festival is on the web at http://www.sfshakes.org.