Tony Award nominees Montego Glover (Memphis), Jonathan Groff (Spring Awakening), and Norm Lewis (The Gershwins' Porgy & Bess), along with Tony winner Anika Noni Rose (Caroline, or Change) will join the previously announced Kevin Kline, Glenn Close, Eric Idle, and Martin Short in the Public Theater's upcoming gala concert of the Gilbert and Sullivan operetta The Pirates of Penzance, to be held at the Delacorte Theater on Monday, June 10. Additionally, the evening, which is dedicated to the memory of late author Nora Ephron, will feature a tribute to the screenwriter by her friends Meryl Streep and Sir Howard Stringer.
In Ephron's honor, the Public, in collaboration with The Central Park Conservancy and the New York City Department of Parks and Recreation, will plant a flowering cherry tree in Central Park across from the Delacorte, with a plaque mounted outside the theater to memorialize the occasion and Ephron's dedication to Shakespeare in the Park. Streep and Ephron worked together on films including Silkwood and Julie & Julia; Ephron, a longtime friend of Stringer's with her husband, Nick Pileggi, was the godparent to his children.
The centerpiece of the evening is the one-night-only concert of The Pirates of Penzance, which is directed by Ted Sperling, musical-directed by James Moore, and featuring musical staging by Graciela Daniele, who choreographed the Public's acclaimed revival three decades ago, in which Kline starred. Kline repeats his performance as the Pirate King, with Close as Ruth, Idle as the Sergeant, Short as Major-General Stanley, Glover as Kate, Groff as Frederick, Lewis as Samuel, and Rose as Mabel. The ensemble will be comprised of Sarah Bolt, Darius Nichols, Eliseo Roman, Martín Solá, Matthew Stocke, and Frank Vlastnik.
The Public Theater's free Shakespeare in the Park continues to further the company's mission to increase access. Since the opening of the Delacorte in Central Park in 1962, more than five million people have enjoyed more than 150 free productions on its stage.