Glenn Close to Voice 'The Giant' in Public Theater's INTO THE WOODS in the Park!

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The Public Theater will begin previews on Monday, July 23 for Stephen Sondheim and James Lapine's beloved musical INTO THE WOODS, the second show of The Public's 50th Anniversary season at the Delacorte Theater in Central Park. Directed by Timothy Sheader with co-direction by Liam Steel, INTO THE WOODS will continue for five weeks through Saturday, August 25, with an official press opening on Thursday, August 9.

Tickets to Shakespeare in the Park are FREE and are distributed, two per person, at the Delacorte Theater in Central Park the day of the show. The Public Theater will again offer free tickets through our Virtual Ticketing lottery at www.shakespeareinthepark.org on the day of the show. All performances are at 8 p.m. Conceived by Joe 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 150 free productions of Shakespeare and other classical works and musicals at the Delacorte.

Tony, Emmy, and Golden Globe award-winner Glenn Close will be the voice of the Giant in INTO THE WOODS. The production will also feature Amy Adams (Baker's Wife); Jack Broderick (Narrator); Gideon Glick (Jack); Cooper Grodin (Rapunzel's Prince); Ellen Harvey (Cinderella's Stepmother); Ivan Hernandez (Cinderella's Prince, Wolf); Tina Johnson (Red Ridinghood's Granny); Josh Lamon (Steward); Bethany Moore (Florinda); Jessie Mueller (Cinderella); Donna Murphy (The Witch); Denis O'Hare (The Baker); Jennifer Rias (Lucinda); Laura Shoop (Cinderella's Mother); Tess Soltau (Rapunzel); Sarah Stiles (Little Red Ridinghood); Kristine Zbornik (Jack's Mother); and Chip Zien (Mysterious Man). The non-Equity ensemble features Victoria Cook, Johnny Newcomb, Noah Radcliffe, and Eric R. Williams.

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, sound design by ACME Sound Partners, puppetry by Rachael Canning, wig design by Leah Loukas, movement direction by Liam Steel; 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 150 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. The revitalization of The Public Theater's historic downtown building on Lafayette Street will also take place this fall.

Tickets to Shakespeare in the Park are FREE and are distributed, two per person, at the Delacorte Theater in Central Park the day of the show. The Public Theater will again offer free tickets through our Virtual Ticketing lottery at www.shakespeareinthepark.org on the day of the show.

In honor of five decades at the Delacorte, The Public Theater launched the 50th Anniversary Fellows Program this year to help support free Shakespeare in the Park for years to come. For more information on the Fellows Program, please call 212-967-7555 or visit www.shakespeareinthepark.org.

Borough Distribution: In addition to the ticket line at the Delacorte Theater and Virtual Ticketing online, a limited number of vouchers for specific performances will be distributed, while supplies last, at locations throughout New York's five boroughs. Each person in line is allowed two vouchers and each voucher is good for one ticket for that evening's performance. Vouchers must be exchanged for tickets at the Delacorte Theater Box Office that day from 4:00-7:30 p.m.

For INTO THE WOODS, ticket vouchers will be distributed, while supplies last, on Wednesday, July 25 in Manhattan at El Museo del Barrio (1230 5th Avenue); Friday, July 27 in Queens at The Jamaica Center for Arts and Learning (16104 Jamaica Avenue); Saturday, July 28 in The Bronx at Lehman Stages at Lehman College (250 Bedford Park Boulevard West); Monday, July 30 in Brooklyn at 651 Arts Center (651 Fulton Street); Tuesday, July 31 in Staten Island at the Snug Harbor Cultural Center (100 Richmond Terrace).

Summer Supporter Tickets, first conceived by Joe Papp, are available now for INTO THE WOODS. A fully tax-deductible contribution of $175 entitles each Supporter to one reserved seat for either production. A limited number of Summer Supporter seats are available to ensure that as many free seats as possible will be available to distribute to the general public on the day of the show. Supporter contributions help to underwrite free Shakespeare in the Park.

Summer Supporter donations can be made at The Public Theater Box Office at 425 Lafayette Street, by phone at (212) 967-7555, or online at www.publictheater.org. Seating locations for donors are allocated strictly by giving level and in the order that they are received.

The Delacorte Theater in Central Park is accessible by entering at 81st Street and Central Park West or at 79th Street and Fifth Avenue.

Photo Credit: Walter McBride / Retna Ltd.

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