New York Theater: MERRY WIVES (The Public Theater’s Free Shakespeare in the Park at the Delacorte Theater Is Extended)

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by Gregory Bernard on August 19, 2021

in Theater-New York

The Public Theater is extending Free Shakespeare in the Park’s delightful comedy MERRY WIVES, adapted by award-winning Jocelyn Bioh and directed by Saheem Ali. Set in South Harlem amidst a vibrant and eclectic community of West African immigrants, this fresh and joyous adaptation of Shakespeare’s Merry Wives of Windsor with an all-Black cast shares in the celebration of Black joy, laughter, and vitality … and being together in community at The Delacorte Theater. A raucous spinoff featuring the Bard’s most beloved comic characters, this hilarious farce tells the story of the trickster Falstaff and the wily wives who outwit him.

Performances originally scheduled to close next Saturday, August 28, will now run an additional three weeks through Saturday, September 18, 2021.

The cast includes Abena (Anne Page), Shola Adewusi (Mama Quickly), Gbenga Akinnagbe (Mister Nduka Ford), Pascale Armand (Madam Ekua Page), MaYaa Boateng (Fenton/Simple), Phillip James Brannon (Pastor Evans), Brandon E. Burton (Ensemble), Joshua Echebiri (Slender/Pistol), Branden Lindsay (Ensemble), Ebony Marshall-Oliver (Ensemble), Jarvis D.  Matthews (Ensemble), Jacob Ming-Trent (Falstaff), Jennifer Mogbock (Ensemble), Julian Rozzell Jr. (Shallow), Kyle Scatliffe (Mister Kwame Page), David Ryan Smith (Doctor Caius), and Susan Kelechi Watson (Madam Nkechi Ford).

MERRY WIVES features scenic design by Beowulf Boritt; costume design by Dede Ayite; lighting design by Jiyoun Chang; co-sound design by Kai Harada and Palmer Hefferan; original music by Michael Thurber; fight direction by Rocío Mendez; choreography by Darrell Grand Moultrie; hair, wigs, and make-up design by Cookie Jordan; and sound system design by Jessica Paz.

Tickets to MERRY WIVES are free, continuing The Public Theater’s long-standing tradition of free programming and community engagement. This year, free tickets will be distributed, two per person, entirely via an advanced digital lottery hosted by new partner Goldstar. The lottery will accept entries through the Goldstar app and website each Tuesday and Friday, until 12pm ET, one week prior to the next week’s scheduled performances. The lottery will continue each Tuesday for Monday-Wednesday performances and Friday for Thursday-Saturday performances thereafter.

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