Denis O'Hare to Play The Baker in Public Theater's INTO THE WOODS!

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Denis O'Hare to Play The Baker in Public Theater's INTO THE WOODS!

The Public Theater announced today that Tony Award winner Denis O'Hare has been cast as The Baker in Stephen Sondheim and James Lapine's beloved musical INTO THE WOODS, directed by Timothy Sheader with co-direction by Liam Steel. INTO THE WOODS will be O'Hare's Shakespeare in the Park debut. Previews begin on Monday, July 23 at the Delacorte Theater and continue for five weeks through Saturday, August 25, with an official press opening on Thursday, August 9.

The Delacorte Theater in Central Park officially opened on June 18, 1962 with The Merchant of Venice, directed by Public Theater founder Joe Papp and Gladys Vaughn and featuring the then-unknown actors George C. Scott and James Earl Jones. Conceived by Papp as a way to make great theater accessible to all, over the past 50 years more than five million people have enjoyed more than 100 free productions of Shakespeare and other classical works and musicals at the Delacorte.

The cast of INTO THE WOODS will also include Amy Adams (The Baker's Wife), Jack Broderick (Narrator), Gideon Glick (Jack), Cooper Grodin (Rapunzel's Prince), Ivan Hernandez (Cinderella's Prince/Wolf), Tina Johnson (Granny), Josh Lamon (Steward), Jessie Mueller (Cinderella), Donna Murphy (The Witch), Laura Shoop (Cinderella's Mother), and Tess Soltau (Rapunzel).

AS YOU LIKE IT, the first show of the 50th Anniversary Delacorte season directed by Daniel Sullivan, will begin previews on Tuesday, June 5 and continue for four weeks through Saturday, June 30, with an official press opening on Thursday, June 21.

The complete cast of AS YOU LIKE IT features Brendan Averett (Charles), Andre Braugher (Duke Senior/Duke Frederick), Donna Lynne Champlin (Audrey), Jon Devries (Corin), MacIntyre Dixon (Adam), Susannah Flood (Phoebe), David Furr (Orlando), Renee Elise Goldsberry (Celia), Robert Joy (Le Beau/Lord), Jesse Lenat (Amiens), Omar Metwally (Oliver), Oliver Platt (Touchstone), Lily Rabe (Rosalind), Will Rogers (Silvius), Michael Rudko (First Lord), Stephen Spinella (Jaques), and Brendan Titley (William). The non-Equity ensemble of AS YOU LIKE IT features Grantham Coleman, Andrew Hovelson, Erik Mathew, Justine Salata, Paul Saylor, and Anna Phyllis Smith.

Grammy® and Emmy winning actor/comedian/musician and bestselling author Steve Martin will compose original music for AS YOU LIKE IT which will feature a live Bluegrass band. AS YOU LIKE IT is Shakespeare's most musical play, containing more songs than any other. Sullivan will set the play's famous Forest of Arden in the rural American South, circa 1840, where folk and roots music perfectly capture the mood of the time.

In INTO THE WOODS, a witch's curse condemns the Baker and his Wife to a life without children. They embark on a quest to find the four items required to break the spell: the cow as white as milk, the cape as red as blood, the hair as yellow as corn, and the slipper as pure as gold. Will they succeed? And what happens after "happily ever after?" A Tony Award-winning masterpiece by musical theater giants Stephen Sondheim and James Lapine, INTO THE WOODS is a witty and irreverent reimagining of beloved classic fairytales: Jack and the Beanstalk, Little Red Riding Hood, Rapunzel, and Cinderella.

INTO THE WOODS opened on Broadway at the Martin Beck Theatre on November 5, 1987 and played 764 performances. It earned three Tony Awards, the New York Drama Critics' Circle Award, the Drama Desk Award for Best Musical and a Grammy Award. Directed by James Lapine, the original Broadway production featured a cast that included Bernadette Peters as the Witch and Joanna Gleason as the Baker's Wife. James Lapine also directed the 2002 Broadway revival that opened on April 30, 2002 at the Broadhurst Theatre and starred Vanessa Williams as the Witch and Laura Benanti as Cinderella.

The 2012 Shakespeare in the Park summer production of INTO THE WOODS is based on the Regent's Park Open Air Theatre London Production, produced by Timothy Sheader and William Village for Regent's Park Theatre Ltd.

INTO THE WOODS features scenic design by John Lee Beatty and Soutra Gilmour; costume design by Emily Rebholz; lighting design by Ben Stanton, movement direction by Liam Steel; sound design by ACME Sound Partners, orchestrations by Jonathan Tunick; and musical direction by Paul Gemignani.

Celebrating its 50th Anniversary, THE DELACORTE THEATER officially opened in Central Park on June 18, 1962 with The Merchant of Venice, directed by Joseph Papp and Gladys Vaughan and featuring George C. Scott as Shylock. The Merchant of Venice was followed that summer by a production of The Tempest, directed by Gerald Freedman and featuring Paul Stevens as Prospero and James Earl Jones as Caliban. The first Delacorte summer season concluded with King Lear, directed by Joseph Papp and Gladys Vaughan and featuring Frank Silvera as Lear. Since then more than 100 productions have been presented for free at the Delacorte Theater. Highlights of past Delacorte productions include Othello in 1964 with James Earl Jones; Hamlet in 1975 with Sam Waterston; The Taming of the Shrew in 1978 with Raul Julia and Meryl Streep; The Pirates of Penzance in 1980 with Kevin Kline and Linda Ronstadt; Henry V in 1984 with Kevin Kline; Much Ado About Nothing in 1988 with Kevin Kline and Blythe Danner; Richard III in 1990 with Denzel Washington; Othello in 1991 with Raul Julia and Christopher Walken; The Tempest in 1995 with Patrick Stewart; The Seagull in 2001 with Natalie Portman, Meryl Streep, Kevin Kline and Philip Seymour Hoffman; Mother Courage in 2006 with Meryl Streep and Kevin Kline; Macbeth in 2006 with Liev Schreiber; HAIR in 2008 with Jonathan Groff and Will Swenson; Twelfth Night in 2009 with Anne Hathaway; The Merchant of Venice in 2010 with Al Pacino and Lily Rabe; and most recently last summer's acclaimed productions of All's Well That Ends Well and Measure for Measure.

James Lapine (Book). For The Public TheaterTwelve DreamsKing LearA Midsummer Night's DreamThe Winter's TaleGolden Child and the 50th year celebration The Public Sings. Also with Sondheim:  Sunday in the Park with GeorgePassion, and Sondheim on Sondheim.

Stephen Sondheim (Music and Lyrics) wrote the music and lyrics for Saturday Night, A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the Forum, Anyone Can Whistle, Company, Follies, A Little Night Music, The Frogs, Pacific Overtures, Sweeney Todd, Merrily We Roll Along, Sunday in the Park with George, Assassins, Passion and Road Show as well as lyrics for West Side StoryGypsy and Do I Hear A Waltz? and additional lyrics for Candide. Anthologies of his work include Side by Side by Sondheim, Marry Me A Little, You're Gonna Love Tomorrow, Putting It Together and Sondheim on Sondheim. For films, he composed the scores of Stavisky, co-composed Reds and wrote songs for Dick Tracy and the television production Evening Primrose. He co-authored the film The Last of Sheila and the play Getting Away With Murder.  Sondheim is on the Council of the Dramatists Guild, having served as its President from 1973 to 1981. His collected lyrics with attendant essays have been published in two volumes: "Finishing the Hat" and "Look, I Made A Hat."

Timothy Sheader (Into the Woods Director). For Regent's Park (Artistic Director): Hello, Dolly! (Olivier Award, Best Musical Revival; The Ned Sherrin Award for Best Musical, Evening Standard Awards); Into the Woods (Olivier Award, Best Musical Revival); Lord of the FliesCrazy for You (currently playing at the Novello Theatre on the West End); Much Ado About NothingGigiRomeo and JulietTwelfth NightThe Crucible (Best Director of 2010, Whatsonstage.com Awards). Theater includes: Imagine This (New London Theatre); Hobson's ChoiceThe Clandestine MarriageLove in a Maze (Watermill Theatre); Rodgers and Hammerstein's CinderellaThe Three Musketeers (Bristol Old Vic); The Star ThrowersUnless (Stephen Joseph Theatre, Scarborough); Misconceptions (Derby Playhouse); Streetcar to Tennessee (Young Vic); Achilles (Edinburgh Fringe First); Wild, Wild Women (Orange Tree); Arms and the ManThe Vagina MonologuesAnnie Get Your Gun (National Tours); PiafSweet Charity (Sheffield Crucible; TMA Best Musical Award).

LIAM STEEL (Into the Woods Co-Director) works as a freelance director, choreographer, actor and designer and is Artistic Director of his own company, Stan Won't Dance. 
From 1992 - 2000 Liam was a core member of DV8 Physical Theatre working as a performer, assistant director and designer for the company. His numerous acting credits include work with Nottingham Playhouse; The Royal Court; Manchester Royal Exchange; Royal National Theatre; The David Glass Ensemble and 3 tours with Complicité. His theatre direction and dance choreographic work includes Ghost-The Musical(Manchester/West End/Broadway); Lord of the FliesInto the WoodsThe Tempest and The Crucible (all for Open Air Theatre); Absolute Beginners (Lyric Hammersmith); Knots for CoisCeim Dance Theatre (Best Production 2005 Dublin International Fringe Festival, Edinburgh Fringe First Winner 2006); Pericles (RSC/Cardboard Citizens Theatre Co); Strictly Dandia (Herald Angel Award for Outstanding Achievement at the Edinburgh International Festival), and Vurt (Contact Theatre Manchester, nominated for 5 Manchester Evening News Awards, including Best Production).

Amy Adams (The Baker's Wife) is a three-time Academy Award nominated actress (The Fighter, Doubt, and Junebug) who will next be seen starring in Rob Lorenz's film Trouble with a Curve, Paul Thomas Anderson's The Master, Walter Salles' On The Road and Zach Snyder's Superman: Man of Steel.  Her previous film roles include The Fighter, Julie & Julia, Sunshine Cleaning, The Muppets, Doubt, Enchanted, Miss Pettigrew Lives for a Day and Junebug.  She is set to produce and star in the film adaptation of Steve Martin's novel Object of Beauty with Maven Pictures.

Jack Broderick (Narrator) has performed on Broadway, in Toronto, and in the national tour of Billy Elliot. His regional credits include Peter Pan and Oliver. He has also appeared on television in "30 Rock."

Gideon Glick (Jack). His Broadway credits include Spider-Man: Turn Off The Dark, and Spring Awakening; and he has been seen Off-Broadway in Wild Animals You Should Know and Speech and Debate. His film credits include One Last Thing and Gods Behaving Badly

Cooper Grodin (Rapunzel's Prince) has been seen in the 25th Anniversary tour of Les Miserables and in the City Opera production of Grendel, directed by Julie Taymor. His film credits include Salt and Music and Lyrics.

Ivan Hernandez (Cinderella's Prince/Wolf) was seen in The Public Theater's concert production of The Capeman at the Delacorte. He also appeared Off-Broadway in Yank!; Romantic Poetry; and the revival of The Fantasticks. His other credits include the world premiere of Zhivago at The Old Globe, and The Most Happy Fella at New York City Opera.

Tina Johnson (Granny) has previously been seen at The Public in The Skin of Our Teeth. Her Broadway credits include State Fair, She Loves Me, and Best Little Whorehouse in Texas. Her additional Off-Broadway credits include Anne of Green Gables, Christina Alberta's Father, Angry Housewives, Personals, andBlue Plate Special. Her film and television credits include Tabitha's Tank, Saving Face, Fire Flies, "Pan Am," "Law & Order: SVU," "Empty Nest," and "Murphy Brown."

Josh Lamon (Steward) was seen in the Broadway revival of HAIR as well as the recent national tour. He has also appeared in the national tour of Wicked, Little Shop of Horrors, and A Year With Frog and Toad.

Jessie Mueller (Cinderella) was recently seen on Broadway in On A Clear Day You Can See Forever with Harry Connick Jr, earning her a Tony Award nomination. She has performed regionally in Animal Crackers, She Loves Me, Guys and Dolls, Merrily We Roll AlongFiddler on the Roof, Curtains, Meet Me in St. Louis, Carousel, How Can You Run With a Shell on Your Back?, and Henry IV Parts 1 & 2.

Donna Murphy (The Witch) is an award-winning actress who first appeared at the Delacorte Theater in the ensemble of The Mystery of Edwin Drood, later succeeding Betty Buckley in the title role on Broadway. Her other performances for The Public include Helen in Tony Kushner's production of Helen (Drama League Award) and The Human Comedy. Murphy's extensive work in theater includes Tony Award-winning performances in Passion and The King and I; Tony nominated performances in Wonderful Town (Drama Desk, OCC, Astaire Awards; Drama League Outstanding Achievement in Musical Theatre), Lovemusik(Drama Desk, OCC Awards), and The People in the Picture (Drama Desk, Drama League, OCC nominations); Drama Desk nominated performances in Twelve DreamsHello Again, and Song of Singapore; Encores! Anyone Can WhistleFollies, and Wonderful Town. Her television and film work includes The Bourne Legacy (2012), Todd Solondz' Dark Horse (2012), Higher Ground, Disney's TangledThe Nanny DiariesWorld Trade CenterSpider-Man 2Star Trek: InsurrectionCenter Stage, the Emmy Award Winning "Sondheim! The Birthday Concert," "Ugly Betty," "Trust Me," "Law & Order: CI," "CSI," "Hack," and HBO's "Someone Had to be Benny" (Emmy, Cable Ace Awards).

DENIS O'HARE (The Baker) has been seen at The Public in Take Me Out (Obie & Lucille Lortel Awards); HelenSilence, Cunning, Exile; and Woyzeck.  His Broadway credits include Elling, Inherit the Wind, Sweet Charity (Drama Desk Award, Outer Critics Circle nom.), Assassins (Tony Award nom.), Take Me Out(Tony, Drama Desk, Outer Critics Circle, Clarence Derwent Awards), Major Barbara, Cabaret, and Racing Demon.  Off-Broadway Denis was most recently seen in the award-winning New York Theatre Workshop production of An Illiad, which he co-wrote with Lisa Peterson.  Uncle Vanya, A Spanish Play, Pig FarmVienna: LusthausThe DevilsTen Unknowns, Lonely PlanetThe Arabian Nights, and Hauptmann. His select film and television credits include J. EdgarThe EagleThe Proposal, Duplicity, MilkChangelingCharlie Wilson's WarMichael ClaytonA Mighty HeartHalf NelsonGarden State, "True Blood," "American Horror Story," "The Good Wife," and "Brothers & Sisters."

Laura Shoop (Cinderella's Mother) has performed on Broadway in the revivals of Fiddler on the Roof and Oklahoma! and has appeared Off-Broadway inBernarda Alba at Lincoln Center. Her other credits include Il Trovatore and The Gambler at the Metropolitan Opera and the first National Tour of Thoroughly Modern Millie.

Tess Soltau (Rapunzel). Her Off-Broadway credits include Ragamuffin and Restoration Comedy. Her film and television credits include Love and Other Drugs,"White Collar," and "Law & Order: SVU."

The Public Theater (Oskar Eustis, Artistic Director; Patrick Willingham, Executive Director) was founded by Joseph Papp in 1954 and is now one of the nation's preeminent cultural institutions, producing new plays, musicals and productions of classics at its downtown home and at the Delacorte Theater in Central Park. The Public Theater's mandate to create a theater for all New Yorkers continues to this day on stage and through extensive outreach and education programs. Each year, more than 250,000 people attend Public Theater-related productions and events at six downtown stages, including Joe's Pub, and Shakespeare in the Park. The Public Theater's productions have won 42 Tony Awards, 158 Obies, 42 Drama Desk Awards and four Pulitzer Prizes. Fifty-four Public Theater Productions have moved to Broadway, including Sticks and Bones; That Championship Season; A Chorus Line; For Colored Girls…; The Pirates of Penzance; The Tempest; Bring in 'da Noise, Bring in 'da Funk; The Ride Down Mt. Morgan; Topdog/Underdog; Take Me Out; Caroline, or Change; Passing Strange; the revival of HAIR; Bloody Bloody Andrew Jackson and The Merchant of Venice.  www.publictheater.org.

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