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King Lear

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By J. Wynn Rousuck | May 17, 1991
In Shakespeare's tragedy, "King Lear," the Fool chides the king for growing old before his time. "Thou shouldst not have been old till thou hadst been wise," the Fool insists.Director Michael Kahn's production at the Shakespeare Theatrat the Folger emphasizes the getting of wisdom. "King Lear" can be played as a relentlessly pessimistic tale, but as enacted by Fritz Weaver, Lear's eventual awakening is moving -- even a bit uplifting.Lear's realization comes too late to alter the bloody circumstances he has set in motion by taking early retirement and dividing his kingdom between his two hypocritical older daughters.
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ENTERTAINMENT
By Tim Smith, The Baltimore Sun | March 4, 2014
The well-seasoned, if unsteady, Shakespearean actor known only as "Sir" in Ronald Harwood's 1980 play "The Dresser" has an ego the size of Wales. No surprise there. But he also has enough dependency and self-esteem issues to keep an analyst busy for decades. The wonder is that anyone would put up with, let alone attend to, such a demanding mess of a man. But Norman, who dresses and sees to any other of Sir's backstage needs, has long carried devotion to an extreme. After so many years of doting and enabling, neither man can fully exist without the other.
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NEWS
By LAURA VOZZELLA | October 28, 2005
Is that King Lear playing at Center Stage? Or King LEER? The theater is advertising its Shakespeare production with a postcard of a mini-goateed man standing at a bar. He's got a martini in one hand, a come-hither look in his eyes, and two condoms dangling from his back pocket. The only hint that the play's the thing: A bust of Shakespeare in the background and the words "King Lear" printed on the condoms."Karem knew there was no better aphrodisiac than Shakespeare and a martini," it reads on the back.
NEWS
By Richard Rayner and Richard Rayner,Los Angeles Times | July 15, 2007
Tom Bedlam By George Hagen Random House / 464 pages / $25.95 George Hagen's second novel opens, memorably, in Victorian London. "It is quite possible that Emily Bedlam was simply a very good woman," Hagen writes, "but to her son, Tom, she appeared insane." This sentence -- lightly rhythmic, gently humorous -- introduces our hero, who accompanies his mother each morning to the hellish porcelain factory where she paints happy faces on figurines. Emily, the embodiment of Christian virtue, smiles at scorn and turns the other cheek when slapped.
NEWS
By J. Wynn Rousuck and J. Wynn Rousuck,Sun Theater Critic | January 21, 2007
King Lear's youngest daughter, modest Cordelia, launches full steam into physical combat. Lear, at the height of his madness, slays his devoted Fool. And Lear's middle daughter murders her husband. These examples of directorial license typify the raw, muscular nature of Alfred Preisser's production of Shakespeare's tragedy at the Folger Theatre, where it is one of the first offerings in the six-month Shakespeare in Washington festival. KING LEAR / / Through Feb. 18 at the Folger Theatre, 201 E. Capitol St. S.E., Washington -- $25-$50 -- 202-544-7077 or folger.
NEWS
By David Folkenflik and David Folkenflik,SUN STAFF | December 29, 1996
Thomas E. Scheye loves teaching English at Loyola College, and this is at its heart: In five hours stretched over four days, Scheye must help a group of 20-year-olds to understand Shakespeare's "King Lear," one of the world's greatest and most complex works of literature.Each year he takes on this task in the hope that his students will overcome their resistance to centuries-old poetry and come to look at life in a slightly altered light."King Lear" is a play about the troubles of an aging monarch in his twilight years -- which is rather like saying that the Book of Genesis is an account of what God did during a week off.It is also a study of the twin impulses of love and selfishness, a meditation on blindness and insight, an examination of the arrogance of power and the inevitability of death.
ENTERTAINMENT
By J. Wynn Rousuck | September 2, 1999
The Shakespearean masterpiece "King Lear" opens the season at Washington's Shakespeare Theatre on Tuesday. Company member Ted van Griethuysen stars as the tragic monarch, under Michael Kahn's direction.Portraying Lear's daughters, Regan and Goneril, are Jennifer Harmon and Baltimorean Tana Hicken. Monique Holt plays Cordelia, the youngest daughter. Holt, who is hearing-impaired, is signing her lines, which are spoken by Floyd King, the actor playing Lear's Fool."King Lear" is currently in previews.
ENTERTAINMENT
January 18, 2007
THEATER 'LEAR' IN MESOPOTAMIA In one of the first offerings in the six-month Shakespeare in Washington festival, Baltimore native and two-time Tony Award nominee Andre de Shields tackles one of Shakespeare's most daunting roles -- aging, misguided King Lear. The co-production with the Classical Theatre of Harlem opens tonight at Washington's Folger Theatre after engagements in New York and Miami. Director Alfred Preisser transposes his King Lear to Mesopotamia at the time of the Code of Hammurabi.
NEWS
By WILLIAM HYDER and WILLIAM HYDER,SPECIAL TO THE SUN | June 16, 2006
The Chesapeake Shakespeare Company is presenting an open-air production of King Lear through July 7, alternating with The Taming of the Shrew, at the Patapsco Female Institute in Ellicott City. King Lear is a hot-tempered, self-centered old man who makes some bad decisions that bring disaster on himself and others. His story is heavy with tragedy, violence, insanity and cruelty - challenging to perform and challenging to watch. On turning 80, Lear decides to give up his responsibilities and divide Britain among his three daughters.
NEWS
By J. Wynn Rousuck | September 8, 2006
Shakespeare in Washington Move over, Stratford-Upon-Avon, England. Make way, Stratford, Ontario. Washington will be the international Shakespeare hub for the first six months of 2007. That's when the city hosts "Shakespeare in Washington," a multidisciplinary festival featuring plays, films, operas, concerts and exhibits by almost 50 organizations ranging from Russia's Kirov Ballet to New York's Tiny Ninja Theater and Washington's National Building Museum.
NEWS
By J. Wynn Rousuck and J. Wynn Rousuck,Sun Theater Critic | January 21, 2007
King Lear's youngest daughter, modest Cordelia, launches full steam into physical combat. Lear, at the height of his madness, slays his devoted Fool. And Lear's middle daughter murders her husband. These examples of directorial license typify the raw, muscular nature of Alfred Preisser's production of Shakespeare's tragedy at the Folger Theatre, where it is one of the first offerings in the six-month Shakespeare in Washington festival. KING LEAR / / Through Feb. 18 at the Folger Theatre, 201 E. Capitol St. S.E., Washington -- $25-$50 -- 202-544-7077 or folger.
ENTERTAINMENT
January 18, 2007
THEATER 'LEAR' IN MESOPOTAMIA In one of the first offerings in the six-month Shakespeare in Washington festival, Baltimore native and two-time Tony Award nominee Andre de Shields tackles one of Shakespeare's most daunting roles -- aging, misguided King Lear. The co-production with the Classical Theatre of Harlem opens tonight at Washington's Folger Theatre after engagements in New York and Miami. Director Alfred Preisser transposes his King Lear to Mesopotamia at the time of the Code of Hammurabi.
NEWS
By J. Wynn Rousuck | September 8, 2006
Shakespeare in Washington Move over, Stratford-Upon-Avon, England. Make way, Stratford, Ontario. Washington will be the international Shakespeare hub for the first six months of 2007. That's when the city hosts "Shakespeare in Washington," a multidisciplinary festival featuring plays, films, operas, concerts and exhibits by almost 50 organizations ranging from Russia's Kirov Ballet to New York's Tiny Ninja Theater and Washington's National Building Museum.
TRAVEL
By LORI SEARS | July 16, 2006
Fringe Festival A little bizarre, a bit offbeat and quite definitely original, the Capital Fringe Festival is all about art outside the lines. The festival, the first of its kind in Washington, offers a celebration of the avant-garde in the performing arts. More than 100 performers from theater, music, dance, spoken word and puppetry will present more than 400 performances at about 30 venues during the 11-day festival, which runs Thursday through July 30. From Cordelia's Fool, a one-woman clown show with Wyckham Avery inspired by Shakespeare's King Lear (July 23-30 at Sixth and I Historic Synagogue, 600 I St. N.W.)
NEWS
By WILLIAM HYDER and WILLIAM HYDER,SPECIAL TO THE SUN | June 16, 2006
The Chesapeake Shakespeare Company is presenting an open-air production of King Lear through July 7, alternating with The Taming of the Shrew, at the Patapsco Female Institute in Ellicott City. King Lear is a hot-tempered, self-centered old man who makes some bad decisions that bring disaster on himself and others. His story is heavy with tragedy, violence, insanity and cruelty - challenging to perform and challenging to watch. On turning 80, Lear decides to give up his responsibilities and divide Britain among his three daughters.
FEATURES
By J. WYNN ROUSUCK and J. WYNN ROUSUCK,SUN THEATER CRITIC | June 15, 2006
There are various ways to tame Shakespeare's Taming of the Shrew, a comedy with a thorny wife-subjugation ending. Cole Porter turned it into the musical Kiss Me, Kate. The Chesapeake Shakespeare Company's approach comes closer to an Elizabethan episode of Upstairs, Downstairs. Love is not only in the air among the upper classes in director Patrick Kilpatrick's production, it also infects the servants. The play concerns two sisters -- sweet Bianca (Ashly Ruth Fishell) and older, vile-tempered Katherine (Kate Michelsen-Graham)
TRAVEL
By LORI SEARS | July 16, 2006
Fringe Festival A little bizarre, a bit offbeat and quite definitely original, the Capital Fringe Festival is all about art outside the lines. The festival, the first of its kind in Washington, offers a celebration of the avant-garde in the performing arts. More than 100 performers from theater, music, dance, spoken word and puppetry will present more than 400 performances at about 30 venues during the 11-day festival, which runs Thursday through July 30. From Cordelia's Fool, a one-woman clown show with Wyckham Avery inspired by Shakespeare's King Lear (July 23-30 at Sixth and I Historic Synagogue, 600 I St. N.W.)
NEWS
By SANDY ALEXANDER and SANDY ALEXANDER,SUN REPORTER | June 2, 2006
Wayne Willinger will go from portraying the son of an earl to acting as a servant and back again numerous times this summer with the Chesapeake Shakespeare Company. But stranger than taking on different personalities, he said, is going from one of Shakespeare's darkest tragedies to one of his wildest comedies -- and back again -- as the company presents King Lear and Taming of the Shrew at the ruins of the Patapsco Female Institute in Ellicott City. "It is a totally different world each time," Willinger said.
NEWS
By LAURA VOZZELLA | October 28, 2005
Is that King Lear playing at Center Stage? Or King LEER? The theater is advertising its Shakespeare production with a postcard of a mini-goateed man standing at a bar. He's got a martini in one hand, a come-hither look in his eyes, and two condoms dangling from his back pocket. The only hint that the play's the thing: A bust of Shakespeare in the background and the words "King Lear" printed on the condoms."Karem knew there was no better aphrodisiac than Shakespeare and a martini," it reads on the back.
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