Broadway star Michael Cerveris (Hedwig, Sweeney Todd, 21 Jump Street) has joined the already exciting cast of King Lear, which opens next month. He’ll be squaring off in the role of Kent across from Kevin Kline’s hotly anticipated Lear. But according to Isaac Butler’s Parabasis, the production’s real star is “genius-level Shakespearean actor” Philip Goodwin in the role of the Fool. But that’s not all! The Public Theater is giving a young upstart named Stephen Sondheim his big break by enlisting him to compose the music. (Tickets go on sale at the Public Theater’s box office this Sunday.)

Advance tickets also go on sale Sunday for next month’s production of Jack Goes Boating at the Public. The new play stars Philip Seymour Hoffman (Scent of a Woman) and John Ortiz, who some may recognize from the film version of Miami Vice. (He was brilliant as the unctuous José Yero.) Other information is currently scant on Jack Goes Boating, but it’s thus far described as a comedy by Bob Glaudini about “date panic, marital meltdown, betrayal, cooking classes and a smorgasbord of illegal drugs.” (Buy tickets on the 7th at the LAByrinth Theater Company website.)

2007_01_arts_sardi.jpgOne theatrical legend who, sadly, won’t be around for any more opening nights is Vincent Sardi Jr (pictured). The man who turned his family’s restaurant into the epicenter for the Broadway theater world passed on to the great dining room in the sky yesterday. In its heyday, Sardi’s was the singular “place to be” for everyone from the top to the bottom of the show biz heap, and the tourists who came to gawk at them. The Times has published a superb obituary for the man who was famous for letting unemployed actors “run up a tab until their ship came in. (At one point, Sardi’s maintained 600 such accounts.)… At times, he exercised what he called ‘a fine Italian hand,’ seating a hungry actor near a producer with a suitable part to cast.”