Perhaps its most high-profile offering will be a new production of The Frogs, the Burt Shevelove-Stephen Sondheim musical based on the classic comedy by Aristophanes. This production will feature seven new songs by Sondheim, a script that has been re-adapted by Nathan Lane (who will also star as Dionysus), and direction by Susan Stroman. "It was the biggest hit of 405 B.C.," Lane quipped at a Tuesday, March 2 press conference announcing the Festival. The Tony Award-winning actor also noted that, unlike the now legendary Yale University production of The Frogs in 1974, there will be no pool on the stage of the Vivian Beaumont -- "but we may bring the audience bottled water," he joked. The show will begin previews on July 6, will officially open on July 22, and will run through October 10.
The Festival's other theatrical offerings include the Japanese Kabuki company Heisei Nakamura-Za, which will perform in a specially designed theater in Damrosch Park; and The Elephant Vanishes, a Japanese-language play created by Simon McBurney and his company Complicité in collaboration with Tokyo's Setagaya Public Theater.
Russian playwright/director Reza Gabriadze's Forbdidden Christmas, or The Doctor and the Patient will star Mikhail Baryshnikov and Jon DeVries. Another Russian director, Piotr Fomenko, will be represented by War and Peace and Egyptian Nights, respectively based on novels by Tolstoy and Pushkin.
In that same vein, Israel's Gesher Theater's will serve up adaptations of two Isaac Bashevis Singer novels, The Slave and Sosha, which will be performed in both Hebrew and Russian. This year marks the centennial of Singer's birth.
For more information on the Festival, go to www.lincolncenter.org.