LEAR last night 3 1/2 hours with one 20 minute intermission, spoilers
Posted by: liam44 04:42 pm EST 03/05/19

When Lear was first announced for Broadway with Glenda Jackson, I was curious why Scott Rudin wanted a whole new production directed by Sam Gold instead of the London production directed by Deborah Warner. My preference would have been Ms. Warner. Having seen Mr. Gold's Off Broadway production of Othello, in which the audience was siting inside a big wood box, in some modern war zone, it worked both visually and emotionally for me. Now we have Lear being performed inside a giant gold box with a purple carpet, designed by Miriam Buether. No mention in the program as to time period or location. The first hour and 30 minutes are thrilling if you are willing to hope aboard Mr. Gold’s concept. Then it all fell apart for me the minute it moves outside into the storm.. Very hard to do the rest of the play, the storm scenes, the battles etc on this kind of very modern set. Ms. Jackson is really amazing with so much energy for a 83 year old actress and she seems to be loving every minute of her stage time. I also enjoyed Ruth Wilson as both Cordelia and the fool, Elizabeth Marvel, from Homeland as Goneril, and Aisling O'Sullivan as Regan. Jayne Houdyshell is playing the Earl of Gloucester, in a gender bending role reversal, she was quite good and I did not believe for a moment she was a man and still found her/him quite moving. As he did in his production of The Glass Menagerie, Mr. Gold cast a disabled actor, (deaf) as the Duke of Cornwall, with a double signing for him. The rest of the cast was very uneven and the 2nd part seemed under rehearsed. Along with live Philip Glass music played by 4 musicians in tails on the set 95% of the time, it is a lot to take in. At the end it received a tepid reception and then a standing ovation when the actors came on stage. A must see for Glenda Jackson’s interpretation of LEAR.

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