Moliere's classic comedy Tartuffe will round out the Public Theater's summer offerings at the Delacorte Theatre in Central Park this summer, confirmed a Public spokesman. Mark Brokaw will pilot the production.
As previously reported, Shakespeare's Taming of the Shrew will be the first show in the Public Theatre's 1999 Shakespeare in the Park season. Mel Shapiro will direct.
No casting has been named for either show.
The Shakespeare comedy tells of Petruchio, a strutting suitor to the man hating Katharine, who weds fiery Kate, attempts to tame her and finally grows to respect her as an equal. The timeless story is the basis of the 1948 Cole Porter musical, Kiss Me, Kate.
The Public Theatre mounted the play at the Delacorte in 1990, in a production which starred Morgan Freeman and Tracey Ullman. Tartuffe concerns a venal and libidinous religious hypocrite who holds a household under his thrall until being exposed for what he is. When first presented in 1664 France, the sharp satire created such a furor that the pious of Paris suppressed the play. It was not performed for another three years, and then in an altered version.
Tartuffe will mark a change of pace for Brokaw, who is best known in New York for his work on contemporary plays such as The Dying Gaul, This Is Our Youth and 2.5 Minute Ride. Regionally, however, Brokaw has recently mounted productions of The Glass Menagerie and A Month in the Country.
In recent seasons, the Public has scheduled works other than Shakespeare's for the park season. Last year, for instance, saw a revival of Thornton Wilder's The Skin of Our Teeth. In 1997, George C. Wolfe mounted the musical On the Town, later bringing it to Broadway in a revised form.