First Performance of The Winter's Tale Rained Out in Central Park

News   First Performance of The Winter's Tale Rained Out in Central Park
New York audiences will have to wait a bit longer for the start of Shakespeare in the Park. The first performance of The Winter's Tale has been canceled June 9 due to inclement weather.

Shortly after 8 PM, Ruben Santiago-Hudson, who plays Leontes, explained to the audience at the Delacorte Theater that although the cast was looking forward to performing for them, the production would not go on due to rain. Performances are on track to resume June 10.

Last summer Shakespeare's words from Twelfth Night (the first production of the summer season at the Delacorte) rang true: "The rain, it raineth every day." New York City experienced a particularly wet season in 2009, but only two performances of Shakespeare in the Park were canceled due to weather.

According to a representative for the Public Theater, Shakespeare in the Park never cancels a production prior to 8 PM and waits until curtain to determine whether or not the show will go on.

Tony Award nominee Michael Greif (Rent, Next to Normal) helms Winter's Tale, which officially opens July 1. The Winter's Tale will play in repertory with The Merchant of Venice (beginning June 12), both of which employ a unified company of actors.

The Winter's Tale stars Tony Award nominee Emond (Life (x) 3, A Spanish Play) as wronged queen Hermione and Tony winner Ruben Santiago-Hudson (Seven Guitars, Jelly's Last Jam) as the king who cracks, Leontes. The company also features Jesse Tyler Ferguson (Young Shepherd/Lord/Launcelot Gobbo), Jesse L. Martin (Polixenes/Gratiano), Max Wright (Old Shepherd/Prince of Arragon), Bill Heck (Lord/Lorenzo), Hamish Linklater (Autolycus/Lord/Bassanio), Marianne Jean-Baptiste (Paulina/Nerissa), Gerry Bamman (Antigonus/Duke of Venice), Francois Battiste (Florizel/Lord/Salerio), Byron Jennings (Camillo/Antonio), Heather Lind (Perdita/Jessica), Nyambi Nyambi (Lord/Prince of Morocco), Matthew Rauch (Dion/Jailer/Solanio) and Richard Topol (Lord/Tubal).

The ensemble includes Happy Anderson, Liza J. Bennett, Tyler Caffall, Cary Donaldson, Luke Forbes, Bryce Gill, Shalita Grant, Jade Hawk, Bethany Heinrich, Tia James, Kelsey Kurz, Brian Macdonald, Alexander Maier, Dorien Makhloghi and Joe Short.

Emond and Santiago-Hudson will not appear in Merchant of Venice, which will star Pacino as Shylock opposite Lily Rabe (Steel Magnolias, Heartbreak House) as Portia. Both Pacino and Rabe will exclusively appear in Merchant.

Designing the productions are Mark Wendland (scenic design), Jess Goldestein (costume design for Merchant), Clint Ramos (costume design for Winter's Tale), Kenneth Posner (lighting design) and Acme Sound Partners (sound design).

Tony and Pulitzer Prize-winning composer Tom Kitt composed the score to The Winter's Tale, while Dan Moses Schreier has been enlisted to pen original music for Merchant of Venice.

Performances of Shakespeare in the Park are Tuesday-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, or by entering the Public's online ticketing lottery at

The closest entrances to the Delacorte are located at 81st Street and Central Park West or 79th Street and Fifth Avenue.

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