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King Lear

Playing at the Public Theatre at 425 Lafayette Street. Previews begin on October 8, 2011. It opens on November 8, 2011 and runs until November 20, 2011.

There are sixteen characters in this play.

King Lear was written by William Shakespeare between 1603 and 1606 and was later revised. The earlier version was called "The True Chronicles of the History of the Life and Death of King Lear and His Three Daughters" and was published in 1608. The Tragedy of King Lear , theatrical version was done in 1623. "Since the 19th century Shakespeare's original version has been regarded as one of his supreme achievements". (Wikipedia)

Sam Waterson was nominated for an Academy Award for "The Killing Fields". He has a Golden Globe, Screen Actors Guild Award for Law and Order. Starring in eighty films and television productions during his forty five year career.

Bill Irwin went to the Ringling Barnum Bailey Clown College in 1974. He help found the Pickle Family Circus in San Francisco, Ca. Bill left in 1979 to do stage work.. He has won several awards in the theatre. In 1988 he won a New York Drama Critics Special Citation and Outer Critics Circle Award and Drama Desk award for "Largely New York" In 1992 he won an Obie for his performance in "Texas for Nothing" Bill won a Tony Award for Best Actor in a play for "Who's Afraid Of Virginia Wolf".

Frank Wood won a Tony Award in 1999 for Best Feature in a play "Side Man". He was recently in the revival of "Angels In America".

Arian Moayed made his Broadway debut in "Bengal Tiger at the Baghdad Zoo", which he was nominated for a Tony Award, Drama League Award and won a Theatre World Award for this role.

King Lear (Sam Waterson) is old and ready to turn his kingdom over to his three daughters. Goneril (Enid Graham) and Regan (Kelli O'Hara) swear to their undying love for their father. Their love for him is above all others, that's what he wants to hear and gives them portions of his kingdom. His youngest daughter Cordella (Kristen Connolly) whom he loves the most tells him yes I love you as any daughter would. He's angered by her response. She replies you have my total love but should I marry half my love would be for my husband. It doesn't sit well with the King and he disowns her and banish her from the kingdom.

In the meantime the Earl of Gloucester (Michael McKean) illegitimate son (Seth Gillian) undermines the elder son Edgar (Arian Moayed) against their father.

Of course there are plot twists, back stabbings, lust, hate, revenge, love, power desire, etc intertwined into the plot. None of which I will tell as not to spoil the story if you you don't know it or have forgotten.

The cast works well together, some of the actors have numerous roles. The set is simple but who needs more when you have a great cast.

Same Waterson is intense as King Lear. He had me convinced the King was losing his mind. His expressions changed as the character changed. He was majestic as King Lear.

Bill Irwin did one excellent job as "The Fool". When he did a scene no mattewr who was on stage with him he out shined them.

Arian Moayed came to life in an outstanding performance as the son that is so trusting that he falls apart when his whole world collapses.

John Douglas Thompson (Earl of Kent) does a great and heart rendering performance of the banished but still loyal subject of the King.

This is one of the best done Shakespeare plays I have seen in a while.

Review by Rozanna Radakovich.

Photos by Annazor.

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