Windy City Media Group Frontpage News
Celebrating 30 Years of Gay Lesbian Bisexual and Trans News
home search facebook twitter join
Gay News Sponsor Windy City Times 2019-07-10
DOWNLOAD ISSUE
About WCMG Publications News Index  Entertainment Features Bars & Clubs Calendar Videos Advertisers OUT! Guide    Marriage

Sponsor
Sponsor
Sponsor

  WINDY CITY TIMES

THEATER REVIEW King Lear
by Mary Shen Barnidge
2019-07-10

facebook twitter pin it google +1 reddit email


Playwright: William Shakespeare

At: Redtwist Theatre, 1044 W. Bryn Mawr Ave. Tickets: Redtwist.org and 773-728-7529; $35-$40. Runs through: Aug. 4

What comes to mind first when we hear "Shakespeare's King Lear" is grandeur: scenery-chewing by a celebrated thespian of lengthy reputation and years, Wagner-opera scenic effects—the entire Balkan Wars, for example, in Robert Falls' 2006 production at the Goodman—a running time exceeding three hours and don't even guess the admission price.

Well, thank the muses for storefront theater! Where else can you see Shakespeare's late-career play in a cozy neighborhood "black box" studio where every word uttered is clearly audible without the distractions of visual and aural spectacle, where the performers reveal their intentions from close enough to look us in the eye as they share these confidences and where the patriarchal hero is portrayed by an AARP-eligible actor at least a decade short of conventional age-appropriate casting.

This is no mere classroom exercise, however. In an artistic agora dominated by barely post-baccalaureate talent, Redtwist Theatre is the rare company whose play selection offers opportunities for actors both emerging and experienced. How much more inter-generational can you get, after all, than a controlling father whose ego spurs him to set up his children in competition for his affections.

The setting for this family drama, we are told in the playbill, is an "island kingdom," although the hedgerow boundaries on its map immediately identify it as England—in this case, an England sporting a diverse population encompassing the African-American Earl of Gloucester's clan, along with a female-cast Earl of Kent, a genderfluid King of France and a Fool of non-binary infrastructure ( played by the protean Liz Cloud ).

Far from confusing the audience, this multicultural stage picture not only facilitates our comprehension of the social boundaries indicated by the unfamiliar courtly titles, but our recognition of filial dynamics echoed in family disputes to this day. After hearing Gloucester joke at his second son's illegitimate status, or Lear's daughters, witnessing their sire's mistreatment of their daddy's-girl younger sister, conspire to have him declared unfit to exercise parental authority, we easily detect, beneath the iambic pentameter, the roots of the reckoning suffered by elders who come to regret lessons learned all too well by their offspring.

Even when realized within restricted dimensions and budget, a text calling for a furious thunderstorm in open country, several murders/corporal injuries, fugitives adopting disguises and an abundance of star-turn orations is a hefty undertaking. Under the direction of Steve Scott, though, Brian Parry ( Jeff-nominated for his 2018 portrayal of Richard Nixon ) essays the strenuous role of western drama's worst dad, redeeming in vigor the necessary reduction in oratory flourish, assisted by a classically, if unevenly, trained performance ensemble and efficiently mobile scenic design, to bring home the famous "fivefold never" speech in a tidy two and a half hours, excluding intermission. Oh, and did I mention the affordable tickets?


facebook twitter pin it google +1 reddit email





Windy City Media Group does not approve or necessarily agree with the views posted below.
Please do not post letters to the editor here. Please also be civil in your dialogue.
If you need to be mean, just know that the longer you stay on this page, the more you help us.


  ARTICLES YOU MIGHT LIKE

Gay News

THEATER Strange Heart Beating 2019-07-16 - Playwright: Kristin Idaszak At: Cloudgate Theatre at the Frontier, 1106 W. Thorndale Ave. Tickets: CloudgateTheatre.com; $5-$45. Runs through: July 28 There's potential for ...


Gay News

THEATER REVIEW The Drag Seed 2019-07-15 - Author: David Cerda Directed by: Cheryl Snodgrass. At: Mary's Attic, 5400 N. Clark St. Tickets: : $20-44; BrownPaperTickets.com. Runs through: Aug. 24 ...


Gay News

Auditorium Theatre receives Outstanding Historic Theatre Award 2019-07-15 - ( CHICAGO, IL ) On July 14, 2019, the Auditorium Theatre received the League of Historic American Theatres' ( LHAT ) Outstanding Historic ...


Gay News

THEATER REVIEW Head Over Heels 2019-07-10 - Songs: The Go-Go's; Conception and original book: Jeff Whitty; Book adaptation: James Magruder At: Kokandy Productions at Theater Wit, 1229 W. Belmont Ave.. ...


Gay News

THEATER REVIEW The Flower of Hawaii 2019-07-10 - Authors: Paul Abraham ( composer ); Alfred Grunwald & Fritz Lohner-Beda ( librettists ). At: Chicago Folks Operetta, Stage 773, 1225 W. Belmont ...


Gay News

THEATER REVIEW The Tempest 2019-07-10 - Author: William Shakespeare At: Lincoln Park and various other Chicago public parks. Tickets: MidsommerFlight.com; Tickets are free, no reservations required. Runs through: Aug ...


Gay News

Critics' Picks 2019-07-10 - Six, Chicago Shakespeare Theater, through Aug. 4—This acclaimed and proudly feminist British fringe musical smartly reimagines the six wives of King Henry VIII ...


Gay News

Teen performer talks Jimmys, being on Broadway 2019-07-10 - He was standing on an escalator in the lobby of a Times Square theater when the magnitude of what Jacob Simon was experiencing ...


Gay News

'Ms. Blakk' now running thru July 21 2019-07-08 - Due to popular demand, Steppenwolf Theatre Company has added seven more performances to the run of Ms. Blakk For President. Now playing through ...


Gay News

Patricca play to be performed July 21 2019-07-08 - Promethean Theatre Ensemble will perform An Uncertain Hour, a work by gay playwright Nick Patricca, on Sunday, July 21, at 6 p.m. at ...


 



Copyright © 2019 Windy City Media Group. All rights reserved.
Reprint by permission only. PDFs for back issues are downloadable from
our online archives. Single copies of back issues in print form are
available for $4 per issue, older than one month for $6 if available,
by check to the mailing address listed below.

Return postage must accompany all manuscripts, drawings, and
photographs submitted if they are to be returned, and no
responsibility may be assumed for unsolicited materials.
All rights to letters, art and photos sent to Nightspots
(Chicago GLBT Nightlife News) and Windy City Times (a Chicago
Gay and Lesbian News and Feature Publication) will be treated
as unconditionally assigned for publication purposes and as such,
subject to editing and comment. The opinions expressed by the
columnists, cartoonists, letter writers, and commentators are
their own and do not necessarily reflect the position of Nightspots
(Chicago GLBT Nightlife News) and Windy City Times (a Chicago Gay,
Lesbian, Bisexual and Transegender News and Feature Publication).

The appearance of a name, image or photo of a person or group in
Nightspots (Chicago GLBT Nightlife News) and Windy City Times
(a Chicago Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual and Transgender News and Feature
Publication) does not indicate the sexual orientation of such
individuals or groups. While we encourage readers to support the
advertisers who make this newspaper possible, Nightspots (Chicago
GLBT Nightlife News) and Windy City Times (a Chicago Gay, Lesbian
News and Feature Publication) cannot accept responsibility for
any advertising claims or promotions.

 

 

 

TRENDINGBREAKINGPHOTOS

Sponsor
Sponsor
Sponsor
Sponsor


 



About WCMG Publications News Index  Entertainment Features Bars & Clubs Calendar Videos Advertisers OUT! Guide    Marriage


About WCMG      Contact Us      Online Front  Page      Windy City  Times      Nightspots      OUT! Guide     
Identity      BLACKlines      En La Vida      Archives      Subscriptions      Distribution      Windy City Queercast     
Queercast Archives      Advertising  Rates      Deadlines      Advanced Search     
Press  Releases      Event Photos      Join WCMG  Email List      Email Blast     
Upcoming Events      Todays Events      Ongoing Events      Post an Event      Bar Guide      Community Groups      In Memoriam      Outguide Categories      Outguide Advertisers      Search Outguide      Travel      Dining Out      Blogs      Spotlight  Video     
Classifieds      Real Estate      Place a  Classified     

Windy City Media Group publishes Windy City Times,
The Bi-Weekly Voice of the Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual and Trans Community.
5315 N. Clark St. #192, Chicago, IL 60640-2113 • PH (773) 871-7610 • FAX (773) 871-7609.