Christopher Walken, Raúl Esparza, Jeffrey Wright, Jesse L. Martin, Jerry Stiller and Sam Waterston will join previously announced stars Meryl Strep and Kevin Kline for the Public Theater's one-night-only benefit reading of Romeo and Juliet. Directed by Daniel Sullivan, the June 18 gala celebrates the 50th anniversary of the Delacorte Theatre in Central Park. Jeanine Tesori will compose original music for the performance, which also honors Shakespeare in the Park veteran Al Pacino.
The Delacorte Theater in Central Park officially opened on June 18, 1962 with a production of The Merchant of Venice. Directed by Public Theater founder Joe Papp and Gladys Vaughn, the production featured then-unknown actors George C. Scott and James Earl Jones. 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.
This year's Shakespeare in the Park season will include productions of As You Like It and Into the Woods.