Ang Lee Casting Theatrical Elite in ‘Taking Woodstock’

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In a time when Hollywood seems completely out of original ideas, director Ang Lee has taken the novel approach of casting mainly theater stars — and we think the results could be amazing. The movie is set to feature Tony nominee Jonathan Groff as Woodstock organizer Michael Lang, Mamie Gummer as his assistant, Tony winner Dan Fogler as a local theater-troupe head, and — though not a Broadway star, no stranger to the stage — comedian Demetri Martin as Tiber himself. Plus, it's kind of like a theatrical reunion: Zoe Kazan will reteam with her Things We Want co-star Paul Dano to portray a hippie couple. And Jeremy Shamos (who was in 100 Saints You Should Know with Kazan and Hunting and Gathering with Gummer) is also in the mix. Sold? Well, then this is just icing on the cake: Liev Schreiber (who gave 2007's Most Exciting Performance, in Talk Radio) is reportedly in talks to play a transvestite! Dude!

In a time when Hollywood seems completely out of original ideas, director Ang Lee has taken the novel approach of casting mainly theater stars — and we think the results could be amazing. The movie is set to feature Tony nominee Jonathan Groff as Woodstock organizer Michael Lang, Mamie Gummer as his assistant, Tony winner Dan Fogler as a local theater-troupe head, and — though not a Broadway star, no stranger to the stage — comedian Demetri Martin as Tiber himself. Plus, it's kind of like a theatrical reunion: Zoe Kazan will reteam with her Things We Want co-star Paul Dano to portray a hippie couple. And Jeremy Shamos (who was in 100 Saints You Should Know with Kazan and Hunting and Gathering with Gummer) is also in the mix. Sold? Well, then this is just icing on the cake: Liev Schreiber (who gave 2007's Most Exciting Performance, in Talk Radio) is reportedly in talks to play a transvestite! Dude!

We kind of love all these actors, perhaps because they haven't been overexposed in the tabloids but also because we've seen a bunch of them perform live and think they're really pretty talented. Lee has never been afraid to take risks before (see Lust, Caution), and we applaud him for once again thinking outside the box. Summer 2009 can't get here soon enough. Until then … peace! —Lori Fradkin

'Taking Woodstock' set to start [Variety]
Groff, Fogler, Schreiber and Gummer Cast in "Woodstock" Film [Playbill]