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Monday, 25 June 2012 11:29

Complete Casting Announced for The Public Theater's INTO THE WOODS

The Public Theater
Chip Zien To Play Mysterious Man In

Stephen Sondheim and James Lapine’s Beloved Musical


Ellen Harvey, Bethany Moore, Jennifer Rias, Sarah Stiles
and Kristine Zbornik Complete the Cast


June 25, 2012 – The Public Theater (Artistic Director Oskar Eustis; Executive Director Patrick Willingham) announced complete casting today for Stephen Sondheim and James Lapine’s beloved musical INTO THE WOODS, directed by Timothy Sheader with co-direction by Liam Steel.Ellen Harvey (Cinderella’s Stepmother); Bethany Moore (Stepsister); Jennifer Rias (Stepsister); Sarah Stiles (Little Red Ridinghood); and Kristine Zbornik (Jack’s Mother) complete the cast with Chip Zien, who originated the role of the Baker in the 1987 Broadway production, playing Mysterious Man.

{module ad_left_body}INTO THE WOODS will begin previewson Monday, July 23 at the Delacorte Theater and continue for five weeks through Saturday, August 25, with an official press opening on Thursday, August 9.

The Delacorte Theater in Central Park officially opened on June 18, 1962 with The Merchant of Venice, directed by Public Theater founder Joe Papp and Gladys Vaughn and featuring the then-unknown actors George C. Scott and James Earl Jones.  Conceived by 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. 

The cast of INTO THE WOODS alsofeatures Amy Adams (The Baker’s Wife); Jack Broderick (Narrator); Gideon Glick (Jack); Cooper Grodin (Rapunzel’s Prince); Ivan Hernandez (Cinderella’s Prince, Wolf); Tina Johnson (Granny); Josh Lamon (Steward); Jessie Mueller (Cinderella); Donna Murphy (The Witch); Denis O’Hare (The Baker); Laura Shoop (Cinderella’s Mother); and Tess Soltau (Rapunzel). The non-Equity ensemble of INTO THE WOODSfeatures Victoria Cook, Johnny Newcomb, Noah Radcliffe, and Eric R. Williams.

AS YOU LIKE IT, the first show of The Public’s 50th Anniversary Delacorte season directed by Daniel Sullivan, will run through Saturday, June 30.

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, movement direction by Liam Steel; sound design by Acme Sound Partners, 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 1990with Denzel Washington; Othello in 1991with 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 downtown home will physically manifest the Company’s core mission of sparking new dialogues and increasing accessibility for artists and audiences by dramatically opening up its landmark building to the street and community, and transforming the lobby into a public piazza for artists, students, and audiences. Designed by Ennead Architects, the project encompasses enhancements to the building’s interior and exterior while preserving the historic structure. Key elements of the design include infrastructure updates to the 158-year old building, as well as construction of new exterior entry stair and glass canopy; installation of ramps for improved accessibility; an expanded and refurbished lobby; the addition of a mezzanine level with a new lounge, designed by the Rockwell Group; expansion and remodeling of restroom facilities; and comprehensive exterior restoration, ensuring stability of the landmark façade.


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 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

For INTO THE WOODS, ticket vouchers will be distributed, while supplies last, on Monday, June 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 Bronxat 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 AS YOU LIKE ITand 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 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.

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JAMES LAPINE (Book). 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) 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."

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 FliesCrazy 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, 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).

AMY ADAMS (The Baker’s Wife) is a three-time Academy Award nominated actress (The Fighter, Doubt, and Junebug) who will next be seen starring in Rob Lorenz’s film Trouble with a Curve, Paul Thomas Anderson’s The Master, Walter Salles’ On The Road and Zach Snyder’s Superman: Man of Steel.  Her previous film roles include The Fighter, Julie & Julia, Sunshine Cleaning, The Muppets, Doubt, Enchanted, Miss Pettigrew Lives for a Day and Junebug.  She is set to produce and star in the film adaptation of Steve Martin’s novel Object of Beauty with Maven Pictures.

JACK BRODERICK (Narrator) has performed on Broadway, in Toronto, and in the national tour of Billy Elliot. His regional credits include Peter Pan and Oliver. He has also appeared on television in “30 Rock.”

GIDEON GLICK (Jack). His Broadway credits include Spider-Man: Turn Off The Dark, and Spring Awakening; and he has been seen Off-Broadway in Wild Animals You Should Know and Speech and Debate. His film credits include One Last Thing and Gods Behaving Badly.

COOPER GRODIN (Rapunzel’s Prince) has been seen in the 25th Anniversary tour of Les Miserables and in the City Opera production of Grendel, directed by Julie Taymor. His film credits include Salt and Music and Lyrics.

ELLEN HARVEY (Cinderella’s Stepmother) has appeared on Broadway in How to Succeed in Business Without Really Trying, Thou Shalt Not, The Music Man, and The Most Happy Fella. She has toured nationally in Mary Poppins; Mamma Mia!; Dr. Doolittle; and Disney’s High School Musical. Her film and television credits include Music and Lyrics, The Producers, “The Battery’s Down,” “Eden,” “Partners,” and “The Hard Truth.”

IVAN HERNANDEZ (Cinderella’s Prince/Wolf) was seen in The Public Theater’s concert production of The Capeman at the Delacorte. He also appeared Off-Broadway in Yank!; Romantic Poetry; and the revival of The Fantasticks. His other credits include the world premiere of Zhivago at the Old Globe, and The Most Happy Fella at New York City Opera.

TINA JOHNSON (Granny) has previously been seen at The Public in The Skin of Our Teeth. Her Broadway credits include State Fair, She Loves Me, and Best Little Whorehouse in Texas. Her additional Off-Broadway credits include Anne of Green Gables, Christina Alberta’s Father, Angry Housewives, Personals, and Blue Plate Special. Her film and television credits include Tabitha’s Tank, Saving Face, Fire Flies, “Pan Am,” “Law & Order: SVU,” “Empty Nest,” and “Murphy Brown.”

JOSH LAMON (Steward) was most recently seen at The Public in February House, and was seen in the Broadway revival of HAIR as well as the recent national tour. He has also appeared in the national tours of Wicked, Little Shop of Horrors, and A Year With Frog and Toad.

BETHANY MOORE (Stepsister) is currently featured on Broadway in Spider-Man: Turn Off the Dark. She has toured nationally in A Chorus Line and her regional credits include The Producers, The Drowsy Chaperone, Cats, Urinetown, Thoroughly Modern Millie, A Chorus Line, The Full Monty, Miss Saigon, and Smokey Joe’s Café.

JESSIE MUELLER (Cinderella) was recently seen on Broadway in On A Clear Day You Can See Forever with Harry Connick Jr, earning her a Tony Award nomination. She has performed regionally in Animal Crackers, She Loves Me, Guys and Dolls, Merrily We Roll Along, Fiddler on the Roof, Curtains, Meet Me in St. Louis, Carousel, How Can You Run With a Shell on Your Back?, and Henry IV Parts 1 & 2.

DONNA MURPHY (The Witch) is an award-winning actress who first appeared at the Delacorte Theater in the ensemble of The Mystery of Edwin Drood, later succeeding Betty Buckley in the title role on Broadway. Her other performances for The Public include Helen in Tony Kushner’s production of Helen (Drama League Award) and The Human Comedy. Murphy’s extensive work in theater includes Tony Award-winning performances in Passion and The King and I; Tony nominated performances in Wonderful Town (Drama Desk, OCC, Astaire Awards; Drama League Outstanding Achievement in Musical Theatre), Lovemusik (Drama Desk, OCC Awards), and The People in the Picture (Drama Desk, Drama League, OCC nominations); Drama Desk nominated performances in Twelve Dreams, Hello Again, and Song of Singapore; Encores! Anyone Can Whistle, Follies, and Wonderful Town. Her television and film work includes The Bourne Legacy (2012), Todd Solondz’ Dark Horse (2012), Higher Ground, Disney’s Tangled, The Nanny Diaries, World Trade Center, Spider-Man 2, Star Trek: Insurrection, Center Stage, the Emmy Award Winning “Sondheim! The Birthday Concert,” “Ugly Betty,” “Trust Me,” “Law & Order: CI,” “CSI,” “Hack,” and HBO’s “Someone Had to be Benny” (Emmy, Cable Ace Awards).

JOHNNY NEWCOMB (Ensemble) has appeared regionally in Spring Awakening, Next to Normal, Brigadoon, Sweeney Todd, and The 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee. Newcomb has appeared in Next Fall, Bat Boy: The Musical, This Is Our Youth, The Who’s: Tommy, The Rocky Horror Show, Urinetown, and Footloose at The Boston Conservatory.

(The Baker) has been seen at The Public in Take Me Out (Obie & Lucille Lortel Awards); Helen; Silence, Cunning, Exile; and Woyzeck.  His Broadway credits include Elling, Inherit the Wind, Sweet Charity (Drama Desk Award, Outer Critics Circle nom.), Assassins (Tony Award nom.), Take Me Out (Tony, Drama Desk, Outer Critics Circle, Clarence Derwent Awards), Major Barbara, Cabaret, and Racing Demon.  Off-Broadway, Denis was most recently seen in the award-winning New York Theatre Workshop production of An Illiad, which he co-wrote with Lisa Peterson.  Uncle Vanya, A Spanish Play, Pig Farm, Vienna: Lusthaus, The Devils, Ten Unknowns, Lonely Planet, The Arabian Nights, and Hauptmann. His select film and television credits include J. Edgar, The Eagle, The Proposal, Duplicity, Milk, Changeling, Charlie Wilson’s War, Michael Clayton, A Mighty Heart, Half Nelson, Garden State, “True Blood,” “American Horror Story,” “The Good Wife,” and “Brothers & Sisters.”

NOAH RADCLIFFE (Understudy, Narrator) has appeared Off-Broadway in The Kid Who Would Be Pope at the New York Musical Theatre Festival. Radcliffe has performed in various concerts and musical competitions throughout Connecticut.

JENNIFER RIAS (Stepsister) has appeared on Broadway in Rock of Ages. She has toured nationally in Dirty Rotten Scoundrels and Spamalot. She has been seen regionally in West Side Story, A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the Forum, A Chorus Line, Crazy For You, 42nd Street, and the Radio City Christmas Spectacular.

LAURA SHOOP (Cinderella’s Mother) has performed on Broadway in the revivals of Fiddler on the Roof and Oklahoma! and has appeared Off-Broadway in Bernarda Alba at Lincoln Center. Her other credits include Il Trovatore and The Gambler at the Metropolitan Opera and the first National Tour of Thoroughly Modern Millie.

TESS SOLTAU (Rapunzel). Her Off-Broadway credits include Ragamuffin and Restoration Comedy. Her film and television credits include Love and Other Drugs, “White Collar,” and “Law & Order: SVU.”

SARAH STILES (Little Red Ridinghood)has appeared on Broadway in On A Clear Day You Can See Forever, 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee, and Avenue Q. Her Off-Broadway credits include The Road to Qatar, Vanities, and Captain Louie. She has also toured Nationally with Doctor Dolittle, and has appeared regionally in The Full Monty and Grease.

ERIC R. WILLIAMS (Ensemble) has appeared regionally in HAIR; Mirandy & Brother Wind; Passing Strange; Vukani!; The Colored Museum; and Midnight Revolutionaries. At Howard University, he has appeared in The Cherry Orchard, Bingo Long Travelling All-Stars and Motor Kings, Zooman and The Sign, Company, Working, Days of Absence, A Chorus Line.

(Jack’s Mother) has been seen at The Public in Road Show. She has appeared on Broadway in A Catered Affair. Her Off-Broadway credits include Forbidden Broadway: 20th Anniversary Celebration, Forbidden Broadway Cleans Up Its Act, I Will Come Back, and An Evening with Joan Crawford. She has been seen on television in “Whoopi.”

(Mysterious Man) created the role of the Baker in Sondheim/Lapine’s award-winning Into The Woods. His Broadway credits include The People in the Picture, Mike Nichols' The Country Girl, Thenardier in the revival of Les Miserables, Falsettos, Grand Hotel, The Boys From Syracuse, Chitty Chitty Bang Bang, All Over Town, and The Suicide. Among his many off-Broadway credits are In Trousers, March of the Falsettos, Falsettoland. Isn’t It Romantic, A New Brain, Anonymous, An Imaginary Life, Splie, Moonchildren, Hot L Baltimore, Kaddish, Diamonds, Real Life Funnies, and Tuscaloosa’s Calling Me. On TV, Mr. Zien was a series regular on “The Caroline Rhea Show;” “Almost Perfect;” “Now and Again;” “Deadline;” “Shell Game;” Love, Sidney;” and “Reggie.” His various film roles include the voice of the infamous Howard the Duck, as well as The Siege, Rosencrantz and Guildenstern Are Undead, United 93, Snake Eyes, Breakfast of Champions, Dorothy Parker and the Vicious Circle, Grace Quigley with Katherine Hepburn, So Fine, Hello Again, House of God, and The Rose.

(Oskar Eustis, Artistic Director; Patrick Willingham, Executive Director) was founded by Joseph Papp in 1954 and is now one of the nation’s preeminent cultural institutions, producing new plays, musicals and productions of classics at its downtown home and at the Delacorte Theater in Central Park. The Public Theater’s mandate to create a theater for all New Yorkers continues to this day on stage and through extensive outreach and education programs. Each year, more than 250,000 people attend Public Theater-related productions and events at six downtown stages, including Joe’s Pub, and Shakespeare in the Park. The Public Theater’s productions have won 42 Tony Awards, 158 Obies, 42 Drama Desk Awards and four Pulitzer Prizes. Fifty-four Public Theater productions have moved to Broadway, including Sticks and Bones; That Championship Season; A Chorus Line; For Colored Girls…; The Pirates of Penzance; The Tempest; Bring in ’da Noise, Bring in ’da Funk; The Ride Down Mt. Morgan; Topdog/Underdog; Take Me Out; Caroline, or Change; Passing Strange; the revival of HAIR; Bloody Bloody Andrew Jackson and The Merchant of Venice.

BANK OF AMERICA As one of the world's largest financial institutions and a major supporter of arts and culture, Bank of America has a vested interest and plays a meaningful role in the international dialogue on cultural understanding. As a global company, Bank of America demonstrates its commitment to the arts by supporting such efforts as after-school arts programs, a program to conserve artistic heritage as well as a campaign to encourage museum attendance. Bank of America offers customers free access to more than 150 of the nation's finest cultural institutions through its acclaimed Museums on Us® program, while Art in our Communities® shares exhibits from the company's corporate collection with communities across the globe through local museum partners. The Bank of America Charitable Foundation also provides philanthropic support to museums, theaters and other arts-related nonprofits to expand their services and offerings to schools and communities. Bank of America partners with more than five thousand arts institutions worldwide.

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Last modified on Monday, 25 June 2012 11:35