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'MUCH ADO' with Lily Rabe & Hamish Linklater Opens at Shakespeare in the Park Tonight

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'MUCH ADO' with Lily Rabe & Hamish Linklater Opens at Shakespeare in the Park Tonight

The Public Theater's free Shakespeare in the Park production of Much Ado About Nothing officially opens tonight, Monday, June 16. The production will run through Sunday, July 6.

Obie Award winner Hamish Linklater and Tony Award nominee Lily Rabe return to the Park as the wise-cracking, would-be lovers Beatrice and Benedick in the beloved romantic comedy. Central Park becomes sun-drenched Sicily at the turn of the last century, where the heat of summer ignites the fevered passions of lovesick ladies in corsets and pining gentlemen spying from the verandah. Three-time Tony winner Jack O'Brien directs this delightful skirmish of wit between two self-declared bachelors tricked by their mischief-making friends into falling in love against their will and in spite of their own hearts.

The complete cast of Much Ado About Nothing features Steel Burkhardt (Balthazar); Jack Cutmore-Scott (Claudio); Austin Durant (Friar Francis, Sexton); John Glover (Leonato); Hamish Linklater(Benedick); David Manis (Antonio, Verges); Kathryn Meisle (Ursula); Ismenia Mendes (Hero); Brian Stokes Mitchell (Don Pedro); John Pankow (Dogberry); Pedro Pascal (Don John); Lily Rabe(Beatrice); Eric Sheffer Stevens (Borachio); and Zoë Winters (Margaret). The non-equity ensemble includes Matt Bittner, Alex Breaux, Carisa Cotera, Isabella Curti, Paco Lozano, and Matthew Russell.

Tickets to The Public Theater's Shakespeare in the Park are FREE and are distributed, two per person, at the Delacorte Theater in Central Park on the day of the show. The Public Theater will again offer free tickets through our Virtual Ticketing lottery on the day of the show at www.shakespeareinthepark.org. The Delacorte Theater in Central Park is accessible by entering at 81st Street and Central Park West or at 79th Street and Fifth Avenue.

MUCH ADO ABOUT NOTHING was first staged at the Delacorte in 1972 and was directed by A. J. Antoon, featuringSam Waterston as Benedick and Kathleen Widdoes as Beatrice. It was also performed at the Delacorte in 1988, directed by Gerald Freedman and featuring Kevin Kline as Benedick, Blythe Danner as Beatrice, David Hyde Pierceas Don Juan, and Jerry Stiller as Dogberry. It was last staged at the Delacorte in 2004, directed by David Esbjornson, featuring Jimmy Smits as Benedick, Kristen Johnston as Beatrice, Sam Waterston as Leonato,Elizabeth Waterston as Hero, and Jayne Houdyshell as Ursula. Most recently, the comedy was presented as part of The Public's Mobile Shakespeare Unit last year, bringing Shakespeare to audiences in the five boroughs who have limited or no access to the arts.

Photo Credit: Joan Marcus

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