shakespeareances.comCaricature of Shakespeare



The Public Theater

Lithgow Takes On Lear in Central Park;
Soderbergh Directs World Premiere

John Lithgow takes the Delacorte Theater's stage in New York's Central Park in the title role of William Shakespeare's King Lear, and Hamish Linklater and Lily Rabe return to play Benedick and Beatrice in Much Ado About Nothing for The Public's Free Shakespeare in the Park lineup this summer.

The Public LogoMuch Ado, helmed by three-time Tony winner Jack O'Brien (who most recently directed Ethan Hawke in the Lincoln Center's production of Macbeth), will open the program June 3 and run to July 6. Television star Linklater played the two Antipholuses in last summer's Shakespeare in the Park production of The Comedy of Errors, and Rabe played Rosalind in the previous season's As You Like It and Portia in The Merchant of Venice opposite Al Pacino in the season before that.

Screen and stage veteran Lithgow opens as Lear July 22 and continues until Aug. 17. King Lear will be directed by Daniel Sullivan, who over the past three seasons helmed the Park's productions of Comedy of Errors, As You Like, and Merchant of Venice.

Coming up this spring, well-awarded and critically acclaimed film auteur Steven Soderbergh is turning to the stage to direct the world premiere production of The Library at The Public's downtown theater at 425 Lafayette Street.

Written by Scott Z. Burns, who scripted Side Effects, Contagion, and The Bourne Ultimatum, The Library stars Chloë Grace Moretz (Hugo, Carrie, 30 Rock) as Caitlin Gabriel who survives a deadly shooting at her high school. She struggles to tell her story to her parents, the authorities, and anyone who will listen. But there are other narratives that gain purchase in the media and paint her in a different light. The play asks us to examine our relationship to the truth and the lies that claim to heal us.

Soderbergh, who rose to fame with his film Sex, Lies, and Videotape in 1989, is the only director to be nominated in the same year for two different films by the Academy Awards, the Golden Globes, and the Directors Guild of America. That accomplishment came in 2000 with Erin Brockovich and Traffic, the latter winning him the Oscar. He also hit commercial success with the Ocean's Eleven series and Contagion.

The Library is scheduled to run March 25–April 27.

February 15, 2014

If you have Shakespearean news to share, e-mail