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‘King Lear’ spun as a parable of oppression when Belarusian troupe goes for dark farce

Feb 8, 2016 – 3:51 pm
BelarusFreeTheatre_LEAR_(Nicolai Khalezin)

Review: What’s the first image that overtakes you when you think of Shakespeare’s “King Lear”? Perhaps the broken old man, carrying forth the dead body of his youngest daughter. Or the powerless king, cheering the all-shaking thunderstorm as he howls his rage. In the Belarus Free Theatre production on view at Chicago Shakespeare Theater, the unwavering focus is the insanity and chaos of life in the king’s repressive regime. ★★★

‘Lear’ at Chicago Shakespeare: A worthy king rules over concept that Frankly doesn’t sing

Oct 4, 2014 – 9:33 am
Crazed, rejected Lear (Larry Yando, right) confronts wild nature with his devoted Fool (Ross Lehman). (Liz Lauren)

Review: Were it not for Larry Yando’s crushing turn in the title role, Chicago Shakespeare Theater’s “King Lear” would amount to little more than an ill-advised concept played out by a cast that largely misses both the pulse and the pressure of Shakespeare’s language. Setting aside for the moment this production’s manifold curiosities, at its core reigns the regal figure of Yando, whose portrait of Lear – as imperious fool stripped to his humiliated soul – is an experience not to be missed. ★★★

Theater 2014-15: Chicago Shakespeare bounty runs gamut from ‘Lear’ to Jane Austen musical

Aug 17, 2014 – 1:18 pm
Larry Yando in the title role of 'King Lear' at Chicago Shakespeare autumn 2014. (JeffSciortino)

Fifth in a series of season previews: Chicago Shakespeare Theatre honors its namesake this season with an autumn production of “King Lear,” the fantastic adventures of “Pericles” and a contemporary sequel to “Macbeth” that wryly ponders the chaos that befalls Scotland upon that usurper’s demise. Capping the season will be the world premiere of the musical “Sense and Sensibility,” composer-lyricist Paul Gordon’s adaptation of the Jane Austen novel.

London Aisle: National Theatre’s ‘King Lear’ captures folly and fall of one old but unwise

May 13, 2014 – 10:28 pm

Review: Shakespeare’s willful, vain, fatally blindered King Lear enjoys all that monarchy can bring, only to discover too late that kingship is like the bubble reputation – once tossed away in a moment’s folly, irretrievable. London’s National Theatre offers a gripping “King Lear” expressive of majestic folly and deep sadness. ★★★★★

Shakespeare rules the playbill as Stratford unveils plans for its 2014 summer festival

Aug 22, 2013 – 11:19 am
Shakespeare c 1610, the recently discovered Cobbe portrait, believed to have been created  while he was alive (Getty Images - Wiki)

Report: While the Stratford Festival has shed its branding association with the Bard of Avon, any concerns that the festival might really be loosening its traditional ties with Shakespeare should be allayed by newly announced plans for the summer of 2014. The Bard abounds. The festival’s five Shakespeare productions will include two takes on “A Midsummer Night’s Dream” — a full-scale account and a “chamber” version for just four players directed by one of the world’s most innovative masters of stagecraft, Peter Sellars.