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Official: INTO THE WOODS & AS YOU LIKE IT Set for Shakespeare in the Park; Lily Rabe Set for 'Rosalind'

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BroadwayWorld.com reported the news exclusively on January 9, 2012 and now the The Public Theater has officially announced the line-up for the 50th Anniversary Shakespeare in the Park season at the Delacorte. Daniel Sullivan, who directed acclaimed productions of All's Well That Ends Well, The Merchant of Venice and Twelfth Night in the Park, will return to direct AS YOU LIKE IT in June with Lily Rabe as Rosalind.

The second show of the 50th Anniversary summer season will be Stephen Sondheim and James Lapine's beloved musical INTO THE WOODS, directed by Timothy Sheader with co-direction by Liam Steel. Based on the Olivier Award-winning Regent's Park Open Air Theatre London production in 2010, The Public Theater's INTO THE WOODS will be an all new production with an American cast and designers and will be staged in one of the most beautiful outdoor venues in the world-the Delacorte Theater. INTO THE WOODS will begin performances at the end of July.

"For half a century the Delacorte has been at the heart of New York culture, a priceless embodiment of America's democratic promise, offering superb performances of the greatest plays in our literature, free for the people," said Artistic Director Oskar Eustis. "To celebrate, we are offering two magnificent plays about the lessons to be learned in the forest: Shakespeare's As You Like It, and Stephen Sondheim and James Lapine's masterpiece Into the Woods. Lily Rabe is returning, after her luminous performance as Portia in Dan Sullivan's production of The Merchant of Venice, to assay the greatest of Shakespeare's heroines, Rosalind. And I'm delighted that we are adding Stephen Sondheim to the Delacorte's roster: our greatest artist of musical theater will sit very comfortably next to Shakespeare. Sondheim in the Park has a good ring to it."

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 Delcorte 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.

AS YOU LIKE IT features scenic design by John Lee Beatty; costume design by Jane Greenwood; lighting design by Natasha Katz; and sound design by ACME Sound Partners.

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; and sound design by ACME Sound Partners.

In AS YOU LIKE IT, Rosalind, Shakespeare's most breathtaking heroine, and her boyfriend Orlando find themselves in the enchanted Forest of Arden, where all the world's a stage, and where sudden infatuation is as confusing as it is beautiful. Along with other "country copulatives," they discover that nothing transforms, redeems, or enriches experience quite as powerfully as love. AS YOU LIKE IT has everything we adore about Shakespearean comedy: mistaken identity, cross-dressing, madness, mayhem, rage, lust, laughter, and of course plenty of romance, both heartbreaking and joyous.

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.

Daniel Sullivan (As You Like It Director). For The Public Theater, Sullivan directed All's Well That Ends Well, The Merchant of Venice (Broadway/Shakespeare in the Park), Twelfth Night, A Midsummer Night's Dream, Stuff Happens, and The Merry Wives of Windsor. Among his Broadway credits are Good People, Time Stands Still, Accent on Youth, The Homecoming, Prelude to a Kiss, Rabbit Hole, After the Night and the Music, Julius Caesar, Brooklyn Boy, Sight Unseen, I'm Not Rappaport, Morning's at Seven, Proof, the 2000 production of A Moon for the Misbegotten, Ah, Wilderness!, The Sisters Rosensweig, Conversations With My Father, and The Heidi Chronicles. Among his Off-Broadway credits are Intimate Apparel, Far East, Spinning into Butter, Third at Lincoln Center, Dinner With Friends, and The Substance of Fire. From 1981 to 1997, he served as Artistic Director of Seattle Repertory Theatre. Sullivan is the Swanlund Professor of Theatre at the University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign.

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 Flies; Crazy for You (currently playing at the Novello Theatre on the West End); Much Ado About Nothing; Gigi; Romeo and Juliet; Twelfth Night; The Crucible (Best Director of 2010, Whatsonstage.com Awards). Theater includes: Imagine This (New London Theatre); Hobson's Choice; The Clandestine Marriage, Love in a Maze (Watermill Theatre); Rodgers and Hammerstein's Cinderella, The Three Musketeers (Bristol Old Vic); The Star Throwers, Unless (Stephen Joseph Theatre, Scarborough); Misconceptions (Derby Playhouse); Streetcar to Tennessee (Young Vic); Achilles (Edinburgh Fringe First); Wild, Wild Women (Orange Tree); Arms and the Man, The Vagina Monologues, Annie Get Your Gun (National Tours); Piaf, Sweet 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 Flies, Into the Woods, The 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).

James Lapine (Book for Into the Woods). For The Public Theater: Twelve Dreams, King Lear, A Midsummer Night's Dream, The Winter's Tale, Golden Child and the 50th year celebration The Public Sings. Also with Sondheim: Sunday in the Park with George, Passion, and Sondheim on Sondheim.

Stephen Sondheim (Music and Lyrics for Into the Woods) 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 Story, Gypsy 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."

Lily Rabe (Rosalind in As You Like It) is currently on Broadway in Seminar. Previously, she has starred on Broadway in The Merchant of Venice (Tony, Outer Critics Circle and Drama Desk nominations; Callaway Award), The American Plan, Heartbreak House (Outer Critics Circle nomination, Callaway Award), and Steel Magnolias (Drama Desk nomination). Her Off-Broadway and regional credits include A Doll's House, The Merchant of Venice, Crimes of the Heart, Colder Than Here, Proof, The Crazy Girl, and Speaking Well of the Dead. Rabe's film credits include All Good Things, Letters from the Big Man, Weakness, Aftermath, What Just Happened, The Toe Tactic, No Reservations, A Crime, Mona Lisa Smile, Never Again, and Beyond Redemption (upcoming). She recurs on "American Horror Story" and "The Good Wife," and has guest starred on "Saving Grace," "Nip/Tuck," "Medium," "Law & Order," Law & Order: CI," and "Law & Order: SVU."


TICKET INFORMATION

Tickets to Shakespeare in the Park are FREE and are distributed, two per person, at the Delacorte Theater in Central Park at 1:00 p.m. 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.

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