CollectionsKing Lear
IN THE NEWS

King Lear

FEATURED ARTICLES
ENTERTAINMENT
February 22, 1991 | By Bill Kent, Special to the Daily News
If "Hamlet" was William Shakespeare's gift to the stage, "King Lear" was his curse. Among the Bard's tragedies, it mixes a highly lyrical meditation on truth and madness with crowd-pleasing slices of sex, swordplay and gross-out gore. Worse yet, it has moments of deliberate clumsiness, an absurdly complicated plot, and so much wicked cynicism that - despite the zest and rapid pacing of Temple University's impressive production - when the corpses begin to pile up at the end, you're happy that the mad king's sorry mess has cleaned itself up. Director Kevin Cotter has given the mess a kinky twist.
NEWS
July 14, 2013 | BY CHRIS BRENNAN, Daily News Staff Writer brennac@phillynews.com, 215-854-5973
AN ATTORNEY for jailed former state Sen. Vince Fumo complained in court yesterday that the once powerful Democrat, in a legal battle with his daughter, has been cast as King Lear, the tragic figure who goes mad trying to leave his holdings to his children. Normally you could chalk that up to overblown legal rhetoric. But with Fumo, who has a long history of relationships dissolving into disputes, attorney Thomas Leonard was spot on with the Shakespearean reference. The fight involves a trust fund Fumo set up with $3.2 million in 2006 for two of his three children, Vince Fumo Jr. and Allison Fumo.
ENTERTAINMENT
June 10, 1997 | By Douglas J. Keating, INQUIRER THEATER CRITIC
Perusing the cast of characters in the program before King Lear on Stage begins suggests that the show is going to be a novel presentation of Shakespeare's tragedy. The program notes that Goneril is played by a red high-heel shoe, Regan by a scarf, Kent by a pipe, and Cordelia by a Gerber daisy. It also tells us that King Lear is played by Thaddeus Phillips. We have to wait for the show to start to find out that Phillips, although he is portraying an elderly king of ancient Britain, is a man in his late 20s who makes no attempt to age himself with a wig or makeup and who plays Lear wearing a navy-blue blazer and an open-at-the-neck sports shirt.
NEWS
July 15, 2008 | By Wendy Rosenfield FOR THE INQUIRER
The Pennsylvania Shakespeare Festival produced King Lear not on its main stage but in its smaller black box theater, which means one thing: a new take on the old man. In the centuries since Lear was written, there have been a whole lot of reimaginings of Shakespeare's tale of filial impiety. Akira Kurosawa made Lear's girls into boys and placed the family in 16th-century Japan. Jane Smiley took the clan to the contemporary Midwest and gave the girls good reason to dislike Dad. Here, director Fontaine Syer takes an ingenious thematic leap with Lear as kingpin of a wiseguy empire, his retinue transformed into a posse of leather-jacketed, gold chain-wearing, hair-gelled pretenders to the throne.
ENTERTAINMENT
June 15, 2001 | By Desmond Ryan INQUIRER MOVIE CRITIC
Kristian Levring's The King Is Alive is the latest offering from Denmark's Dogma 95 school of filmmaking, a movement whose participating directors believe in addition by subtraction. By shunning gimmickry and restricting themselves to natural lighting and the props they find on location, they have produced such provocative and striking works as Celebration and Mifune. Bolder and more experimental, Levring's film has its flaws, but remains a fascinating and strangely involving piece.
ENTERTAINMENT
October 26, 1995 | By Douglas J. Keating, INQUIRER THEATER CRITIC
In an interview in the current issue of the New Yorker magazine, the actor Tom Courtenay, explaining why he is not interested in performing King Lear, says, "I think if you are going to play Lear, you had best be a tyrant. " An actor may not actually have to be a tyrant to take the role of King Lear, but judging from the evidence on the stage at the Hedgerow Theatre, he should at least be able to play one believably. There's a nice-guy softness about George Spillane, the Hedgerow's Lear, that renders quite unconvincing his attempt to present the mighty, arbitrary tyrant that Lear is in the first third or so of the play.
ENTERTAINMENT
September 24, 2014 | By Tirdad Derakhshani, Inquirer Staff Writer
'Who is it that can tell me who I am?" So asks the aged monarch early on in Shakespeare's King Lear . But when Joseph Marcell, who brings his Lear to the Annenberg Center for the Performing Arts this week, utters the line, someone in the audience invariably shouts back, "Geoffrey!"
ENTERTAINMENT
June 12, 1988 | By Desmond Ryan, Inquirer Movie Critic
One of the most widely heeded and praised speeches at the Academy Awards in the last few years - and, let's face it, there hasn't been a lot of competition - was Steven Spielberg's 1987 appeal for a renewal of literate filmmaking and a respect for the power of words. Spielberg made his short, gracious speech in accepting the Irving Thalberg Award - a minor sop for the many injustices that Oscar voters have visited upon him. According to a just-published study of the notorious Twilight Zone: The Movie case, there was more to these words than met the ear at the time.
NEWS
March 9, 2010 | By Wendy Rosenfield FOR THE INQUIRER
By now, toying with King Lear, currently at People's Light and Theatre, is practically a required piece of programming. So long as its performers are solid, Shakespeare's tragedy about a father who, as Lear's Fool jabs, "shouldst not have been old before thou hadst been wise," rarely fails to move its audience. Scholars argue about whether Lear is Shakespeare's greatest tragedy or simply among his greatest, but perhaps its best argument for the top spot is that it is a lifelong pleasure, with revelations excavated only as the viewer ages.
NEWS
February 19, 2002 | By Douglas J. Keating INQUIRER THEATER CRITIC
It is a small gesture by King Lear, but it is a defining moment in this production's conception of the character. During the storm scene on the moor, when Lear and the Fool proceed to a hovel for shelter, Shakespeare has the king say to his companion: "How dost my boy? Art cold? I am cold myself. " Lear then removes his cloak, and wraps it around the other man. In the tenderness of that moment, Buck Shirner, who plays the king, and director Carmen Khan make you see clearly and feel strongly Lear's change from a self-centered, overweening ruler into a humbled, suffering human being, as concerned for the welfare of others as his followers are for his. In this King Lear, presented by the Philadelphia Shakespeare Festival, Shirner makes the transition easier by playing his early Lear less imperiously cold.
1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | 5 | Next »
ARTICLES BY DATE
ENTERTAINMENT
October 31, 2015 | By Wendy Rosenfield, For The Inquirer
It's not yet the Fifth of November, but Arden Theatre Company still remembers England's Gunpowder Plot, via Bill Cain's 2009 drama Equivocation . Cain, a Jesuit priest, explores the entanglements among Shakespeare - here tagged with an alternate spelling of his name, Shagspeare - King James I, Sir Robert Cecil, and the nature of playwriting, among other topics crammed into a play of Shakespearean proportions. Of course, there's only one Shakespeare (or is there? Cain also winks at that question a few times)
ENTERTAINMENT
September 24, 2014 | By Tirdad Derakhshani, Inquirer Staff Writer
'Who is it that can tell me who I am?" So asks the aged monarch early on in Shakespeare's King Lear . But when Joseph Marcell, who brings his Lear to the Annenberg Center for the Performing Arts this week, utters the line, someone in the audience invariably shouts back, "Geoffrey!"
NEWS
July 14, 2013 | BY CHRIS BRENNAN, Daily News Staff Writer brennac@phillynews.com, 215-854-5973
AN ATTORNEY for jailed former state Sen. Vince Fumo complained in court yesterday that the once powerful Democrat, in a legal battle with his daughter, has been cast as King Lear, the tragic figure who goes mad trying to leave his holdings to his children. Normally you could chalk that up to overblown legal rhetoric. But with Fumo, who has a long history of relationships dissolving into disputes, attorney Thomas Leonard was spot on with the Shakespearean reference. The fight involves a trust fund Fumo set up with $3.2 million in 2006 for two of his three children, Vince Fumo Jr. and Allison Fumo.
NEWS
April 7, 2013 | By Toby Zinman, For The Inquirer
The Philadelphia Artists Collective shows its collective courage once again. In choosing to give us a rare production of Shakespeare's Timon of Athens , it undertakes what few theater companies dare to do. It's a tough play, full of unlikable characters and difficult language; it hammers home the same idea over and over again, and this requires power and subtlety of delivery. So, I'm torn between admiration for the valiant attempt, and disappointment in the production. Written (probably)
NEWS
March 9, 2010 | By Wendy Rosenfield FOR THE INQUIRER
By now, toying with King Lear, currently at People's Light and Theatre, is practically a required piece of programming. So long as its performers are solid, Shakespeare's tragedy about a father who, as Lear's Fool jabs, "shouldst not have been old before thou hadst been wise," rarely fails to move its audience. Scholars argue about whether Lear is Shakespeare's greatest tragedy or simply among his greatest, but perhaps its best argument for the top spot is that it is a lifelong pleasure, with revelations excavated only as the viewer ages.
SPORTS
December 19, 2008
E XCEPT FOR A surprise 2003 visit to assess the Eagles, it has been 11 years since Will Shakespeare gave his overview of the Philly sports scene. So much has changed since the end of the Gray Nineties, it's past time to catch up to The Bard, who is now a blogger. Catch Will's rants at BeheadOliverCromwell.com. The Blogging Bard came out smoking, weighing in on the Andy Reid/Donovan McNabb controversies. BC: What's your biggest beef with Andy Reid? Bard: The play's the thing.
NEWS
July 15, 2008 | By Wendy Rosenfield FOR THE INQUIRER
The Pennsylvania Shakespeare Festival produced King Lear not on its main stage but in its smaller black box theater, which means one thing: a new take on the old man. In the centuries since Lear was written, there have been a whole lot of reimaginings of Shakespeare's tale of filial impiety. Akira Kurosawa made Lear's girls into boys and placed the family in 16th-century Japan. Jane Smiley took the clan to the contemporary Midwest and gave the girls good reason to dislike Dad. Here, director Fontaine Syer takes an ingenious thematic leap with Lear as kingpin of a wiseguy empire, his retinue transformed into a posse of leather-jacketed, gold chain-wearing, hair-gelled pretenders to the throne.
ENTERTAINMENT
April 4, 2008 | By Wendy Rosenfield FOR THE INQUIRER
Any director worth his/her tragic weight knows that in order to have a successful Othello, you have to pair him with an equally dynamic Iago. So if it makes your mouth water to hear that Lantern Theater's Charles McMahon has plucked two Philly favorites - Frank X and Peter Pryor - to fill the roles in the current production of Othello, you should also know you're in good company. The run was extended before the show even officially opened. Both actors have previously taken on Shakespeare at Lantern in Barrymore-worthy turns: X was nominated for the award for his portrayal of King Lear, and Pryor won it for his Richard III. So surprise, surprise, the pair tear up the stage like the pros they are. Pryor has a blast from his opening sneer to his final psychopathic chuckle, when ordered to behold the bloody mess he's caused.
ENTERTAINMENT
September 15, 2007 | By David Patrick Stearns INQUIRER MUSIC CRITIC
The hot ticket is King Lear, but the show to see is The Seagull in the Royal Shakespeare Company's three-week visit to the Brooklyn Academy of Music, which ends Sept. 30. Dominated by two of British theater's most venerable names, Ian McKellen and Trevor Nunn, the two plays are in repertory, with McKellen playing Lear and, in some performances, the secondary role of Sorin in The Seagull. Both are directed by Nunn and designed with a unit set by Christopher Oram that fits both: a dramatically sloping wall with molding that suits the rustic gentility of The Seagull, vaguely suggests Russia at the end of the Romanov dynasty in Lear, and is topped by a ceiling full of holes appropriate to the failing, jerry-built lives in both.
NEWS
August 21, 2007 | Reviewed by Glenn C. Altschuler, For The Inquirer
Becoming Shakespeare The Unlikely Afterlife That Turned a Provincial Playwright Into the Bard By Jack Lynch Walker & Co. 306 pp. $24.95 On April 23, 1879, Shakespeare's 315th birthday, Mark Gray, a dry goods clerk, sat in the dress circle at McVicker's Theater in Chicago with a copy of Richard II in his lap. Incensed that Edwin Booth was taking liberties with a sacred text, Gray pulled out a pistol and fired two shots at the stage...
1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | 5 | Next »
|
|
|
|
|