August 10, 2015

Not one but two gilt prosceniums currently adorn the normally proscenium-free Delacorte Theater in Central Park, where the Public Theater is presenting “Cymbeline,” Shakespeare’s weird and wonder-filled late romance, as its second offering of the free summer season. Piled around the outer proscenium are crates, boxes and odd bits of statuary, vaguely suggesting that we are in a disused theater of some advanced age, filled with odd props. Daniel Sullivan, the reliably fine director whose Shakespeare productions here usually have avoided self-conscious concepts, has almost made a U-turn with this disappointing staging, which stars Lily Rabe as the much-wronged heroine, Imogen, and Hamish Linklater as both Posthumus Leonatus, her good-hearted but duped husband, and the cloddish Cloten, a rather less suitable suitor for her hand — who loses his head, literally. Lily Rabe and Hamish Linklater at the Delacorte Theater, where they will be performing in the Shakespeare in the Park production of “Cymbeline.”Lily Rabe and Hamish Linklater: A Midsummer Night’s CoupleJULY 22, 2015 Period switch-ups aside, Mr. Sullivan’s previous productions for Shakespeare in the Park have generally been marked by simplicity and emotional clarity, presenting the plays as truthful, albeit fanciful or painful, reflections of real human experience. Here, the emphasis is somewhat deflatingly on the artifice in “Cymbeline.”