Chicago Shakespeare Theater (CST), recipient of the 2008 Regional Theatre Tony Award®, announces casting for the 2012 Fall Season. The Tony Award® and Pulitzer Prize-winning musical, Sunday in the Park with George by Stephen Sondheim and James Lapine will be staged by CST Associate Artistic Director Gary Griffin, September 26–November 4, 2012 in CST's Courtyard Theater. The production features Jason Danieley, recently seen on Broadway as Dan in the musical Next to Normal, and Carmen Cusack, known to Chicago audiences through her role as Elphaba in the Broadway tour of Wicked. The season continues with The School for Lies by David Ives, adapted from Moliere's The Misanthrope and staged by CST Artistic Director Barbara Gaines, December 4, 2012–January 20, 2013 in CST's Courtyard Theater. Featured in the production are longtime Stratford Shakespeare Festival actors Deborah Hay and Ben Carlson, who was last seen on CST's stage in the title roles in Hamlet and Macbeth, and veteran CST actor Greg Vinkler.
SUNDAY IN THE PARK WITH GEORGE
From his Laurence Olivier Award-winning CST production of Pacific Overtures (2003) at London's Donmar Warehouse to last season's sold-out sensation Follies (2011), Chicago Shakespeare Associate Artistic Director Gary Griffin stages his sixth Sondheim production at CST. Sunday in the Park with George, inspired by Georges Seurat's most famous work A Sunday on La Grande Jatte-1884, on display and in the Permanent Collection of the Art Institute of Chicago, unites Seurat and Sondheim in Chicago Shakespeare's Courtyard Theater. Griffin's musical production will transform the painting into a life-size masterpiece to tell the story of a painter's struggle between creating art and living life.
"I think of this project as a celebration of the home of Seurat, Sondheim and Shakespeare in Chicago," said Griffin. "We take great civic pride that Seurat's masterpiece resides at the Art Institute of Chicago and I am proud that Mr. Sondheim's work has an important place here as companion to the great plays of William Shakespeare." Griffin added, "As this is my artistic home, I am thrilled to be welcoming two dynamic musical theater artists-Jason Danieley and Carmen Cusack-whose work I have long admired, alongside the excellent ensemble of artists with whom I have had the pleasure of working in Chicago for many years."
Leading the cast are Jason Danieley as Georges Seurat/George and Carmen Cusack as Dot/Marie. Danieley makes his CST debut following an extensive career in New York, including his Broadway debut in the title role in the Hal Prince production of Candide (Theatre World Award and Drama Desk Nomination), the leading role of Dan in Broadway's Next to Normal, Aaron Fox in the Kander and Ebb musical Curtains (Outer Critics Circle Nomination) and Malcolm in The Full Monty on Broadway and the West End. He was featured in A Tree Grows in Brooklyn, directed by Gary Griffin for Encores!. Cusack also makes her CST debut, having previously starred in such roles as Rose in The Secret Garden for the Royal Shakespeare Company, Fantine in Les Misérables on London's West End, Elphaba in the U.S. National Tour of Wicked, and Ensign Nellie Forbush in Lincoln Center's North American Tour of South Pacific.