John Lithgow, Will Swenson, Anika Noni Rose and More Sign on for The Public's 'HAIR TO HAMILTON' Gala

John Lithgow, Will Swenson, Anika Noni Rose and More Sign on for The Public's 'HAIR TO HAMILTON' Gala

The Public Theater announced additional casting today for The Public Theater's Annual Gala, HAIR TO HAMILTON, 50 Years of Revolutionary Musicals, on Monday, June 5 at the Delacorte Theater.

Directed by Daniel Sullivan, with musical direction by Rob Fisher and Nadia DiGiallonardo, the highly-anticipated gala will include a 90-minute concert of songs from The Public's most beloved and groundbreaking musicals performed by some of the most celebrated voices in theater. Julia Pershan and Julio Peterson will serve as Gala Co-Chairs for this one-night-only special event that will celebrate LuEsther T. Mertz for her invaluable contribution to the past, present, and future of The Public Theater.

HAIR TO HAMILTON will include Brooks Ashmanskas, Nathaniel Claridad, Natalie Cortez, Matt DeAngelis, Joshua Dela Cruz, Brandon Victor Dixon, Claybourne Elder, Kristian Espiritu, Justin Keyes, Omar Lopez-Cepero, John Lithgow, Anastacia McClesky, Leslie McDonel, Ruthie Ann Miles, Kevin Moon Loh, Mary Kate Morrissey, Maria-Christina Oliveras, Brandon Pearson, Diane Phelan, Paris Remillard, Anika Noni Rose, George Salazar, Jennifer Sanchez, Kacie Sheik, Eric LaJuan Summers, Will Swenson, Kirstin Villanueva, and Dan'yelle Williamson, joining the previously announced Sasha Allen, Brian d'Arcy James, Christopher Jackson, Phillipa Soo, Nikki M. James, Sydney Lucas, Kevin Mambo, Britton Smith, Mary Testa, Akron Watson, and Juson Williams.

The evening will include star-studded performances from acclaimed Public Theater productions including Hamilton; HAIR; A Chorus Line; Fun Home; Runaways; The Pirates of Penzance; Caroline, or Change; Here Lies Love; and more.

The summertime gala will begin with cocktails and dinner alfresco at 6:00 p.m. in Central Park, followed by a one-act performance of HAIR TO HAMILTON at 8:00 p.m. and culminate with an after-party under the stars hosted by The Public Theater Young Partners.

The Public is thrilled to celebrate the legacy of the late LuEsther T. Mertz-a visionary and an unparalleled early champion for The Public Theater. From her tireless leadership of the Board of Trustees in the seminal days of The Public to her partnership with Joe Papp, she made possible shows that went on to change the American Theater and The Public's place in it. Her generous support for The Pirates of Penzance and A Chorus Line in their transfers to Broadway and beyond was life sustaining for The Public at critical times in its history. In recognizing the early championship and support of The Public by LuEsther, we also celebrate her legacy which continues through the trust she established, the LuEsther T. Mertz Charitable Trust. Both LuEsther and her trust have been exceptional lead supporters for over three generations, and we are indebted to her for her invaluable contribution to the past, present, and future of The Public Theater.

Tickets to The Public Theater's Annual Gala start at $750 and are available for purchase by calling (212) 539-8634, online at or via email at Proceeds from the gala will help support The Public's mission of providing a home for artists who give voice to the pressing issues of our time, provide affordable access to thousands of New Yorkers with free Shakespeare in the Park and other groundbreaking works, and strengthen the vital relationship between our artists and audiences.

Since 1962, over five million people have enjoyed more than 150 free productions of Shakespeare and other classical works and musicals at the Delacorte Theater. Conceived by Joe Papp as a way to make great theater accessible to all, The Public's free Shakespeare in the Park continues to be the bedrock of the Company's mission to increase access and engage the community.

The Public Theater, under the leadership of Artistic Director Oskar Eustis and Executive Director Patrick Willingham, is the only theater in New York that produces Shakespeare, the classics, musicals, contemporary and experimental pieces in equal measure. In over 10 years at The Public, Eustis has created new community-based initiatives designed to engage audiences like Public Lab, Public Studio, Public Forum, Public Works, and a remount of the Mobile Unit. The Public continues the work of its visionary founder, Joe Papp, by acting as an advocate for the theater as an essential cultural force, and leading and framing dialogue on some of the most important issues of our day. Creating theater for one of the largest and most diverse audience bases in New York City for nearly 60 years, today the Company engages audiences in a variety of venues-including its landmark downtown home at Astor Place, which houses five theaters and Joe's Pub; the Delacorte Theater in Central Park, home to free Shakespeare in the Park; and the Mobile Unit, which tours Shakespearean productions for underserved audiences throughout New York City's five boroughs. The Public's wide range of programming includes free Shakespeare in the Park, the bedrock of the Company's dedication to making theater accessible to all; Public Works, an expanding initiative that is designed to cultivate new connections and new models of engagement with artists, audiences and the community each year; and audience and artist development initiatives that range from Emerging Writers Group and to the Public Forum series. The Public's work is also seen on tour throughout the U.S. and internationally and in collaborations and co-productions with regional and international theaters. The Public is located on property owned by the City of New York and receives annual support from the New York City Department of Cultural Affairs; and in October 2012 the landmark building downtown at Astor Place was revitalized to physically manifest the Company's core mission of sparking new dialogues and increasing accessibility for artists and audiences, by dramatically opening up the building to the street and community, and transforming the lobby into a public piazza for artists, students, and audiences. The Public is currently represented on Broadway by the Tony Award-winning acclaimed American musical Hamilton by Lin-Manuel Miranda and Lynn Nottage's acclaimed new play Sweat. The Public has received 59 Tony Awards, 168 Obie Awards, 53 Drama Desk Awards, 54 Lortel Awards, 32 Outer Critics Circle Awards, 13 New York Drama Critics Awards, and six Pulitzer Prizes.

Photo Credit: Walter McBride

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