Meryl Streep Plays Donald Trump at the Public Theater Gala
Less than a week before the Tony Awards ceremony, the Public Theater gave voice to the importance of off-Broadway theater (hey, Hamilton got its start there, and it has 16 Tony nominations this year) and free performance at its annual gala Monday night. Held on a summer evening at the Delacorte Theater in Central Park, the event celebrated Shakespeare in the Park and Bank of America’s decade-long support of the gratis institution. Michael Bloomberg, Bette Midler, Julianna Margulies, Lin-Manuel Miranda and Samantha Power chatted over al fresco cocktails and dinner before making their way into the theater, where Jeremy McCarter directed a special performance entitled “The United States of Shakespeare,” mounted as a nod to the Bard’s current 400th anniversary. A compilation of scenes from the playwright’s works and American poems, songs and stories inspired by them, the production featured among its cast Christine Baranski, Kate Burton, Michael Cerveris, Bill Irwin, Kevin Kline, Hamish Linklater, Lily Rabe and Phylicia Rashad. Meryl Streep appeared on stage dressed in “orange face,” a baggy suit, comb-over wig and red tie, in an impersonation of Donald Trump that she maintained while singing a duet from the musical Kiss Me Kate (inspired by The Taming of the Shrew) alongside Baranski. Et tu, Tonys?