I went to see “King Lear” in Central Park this week (shoutout to my friend who stood in line and got pooped on by a bird before scoring us tickets), and it was really well done. John Lithgow played an aging king whose reason has slipped, whose outbursts are violent, and whose daughters no longer want to indulge him. The cast was very strong and the relatively simple set was jazzed up by projections against the back wall.
It’s long – three and a half hours – and about two and half hours in I started to get a little antsy and wishing people would start dying. But I enjoyed the performance, and if you like the tragedies, you should go if you can!
Well. Enjoyed is maybe the wrong word. I’ve always known that I’m a comedies and romances girl – they say that tragedies sometimes start with weddings, and comedies usually end with them, and I like things to end hopefully, full of possibility. So swap out “enjoyed” and swap in “was engaged by”. “King Lear” and “Macbeth” and other tragedies I’ve seen make me think about good, and evil, and human nature, and it’s good to get philosophical once in a while.
But the comedies make me laugh, of course, and the wordplay is so very clever, and when the play ends the good end happily and the bad unhappily, and since life isn’t usually so clear cut it’s nice when theater can be.
I have fond memories of the Shakespeare classes I took in college. Most have to do with reading of the plays themselves, since I had a distressing tendency to doze in lecture classes, especially when they took place after lunch. Involuntary, I promise! But I loved curling up with one of the plays – even one of the histories! – for a few hours on a Friday afternoon and being transported somewhere else.
If you can go see “Lear” – or any other play, especially by Shakespeare – go, and be engaged, and philosophical, and laugh at the funny parts, and tell me all about it afterward.
I think this should be my last theater post for a while, guys, unless I go see “Newsies” before it closes next month. Guess I’ll have to go have some different adventures soon!