Tony Award Winners Brent Carver (Kiss of the Spiderwoman) and Chuck Cooper (The Piano Lesson) will join Orlando Bloom and Tony Award nominees Condola Rashad and Jayne Houdyshell in David Leveaux's upcoming Broadway revival of William Shakespeare's Romeo and Juliet. The production begins previews at the Richard Rodgers Theatre on August 24 in advance of a September 19 opening.
Carver, whose Broadway credits also include King Lear and a Drama Desk Award-winning turn in Parade, will take on the role of Friar Laurence. Cooper, whose many Broadway credits include The Life, for which he won a Tony Award, Caroline or Change, and Finian's Rainbow, will play Lord Capulet. He replaces the previously announced Joe Morton, who departed the production due to scheduling conflicts. Bloom (Pirates of the Caribbean) and Rashad (The Trip to Bountiful) will take on the title roles, with Houdyshell (Dead Accounts) as the Nurse.
Romeo and Juliet was last seen on Broadway in 1986 in a production that played in repertory with As You Like It and Macbeth. In 2007, the Public Theater revived the romantic tragedy as part of their annual Shakespeare in the Park series, and held a benefit reading of the play in 2012 starring Meryl Streep and Kevin Kline. An off-Broadway revival, starring Elizabeth Olsen as Juliet, will be part of Classic Stage Company's upcoming 2013-2014 season.