Friday, February 23, 2007

King Lear

photo: Michal Daniel

There are a few very good performances in the new production of King Lear at the Public, but unfortunately Kevin Kline's isn't one of them. His Lear is small and in many ways ordinary, as if it's believed that that's what's needed for us to identify with the character, but a small Lear is no Lear at all. In the first scene, where we should feel Lear's unsparingly cruel vengenance as he demands professions of love from his daughters, Lear comes off more like a capricious and irritated snit than a grandiose king whose pride has been wounded to the core. A fit of curtness follows where explosive rage should be. And so on. The production is handsomely designed but otherwise wrongheaded, and only half of the ensemble seems to have been introduced to one another. The best of the good half of the ensemble includes Larry Bryggman, Brian Avers, Michael Rudko and especially Logan Marshall-Green, whose dynamic, snakey performance as Edmund handily steals the show.


Aaron Riccio said...

I feel vindicated; this is pretty much exactly what I predicted would happen to this production of Lear, and I'm glad that you enjoyed Marshall-Green's performance. The funny thing is, I still want to see it. Any word on the Sondheim score?

Patrick Lee said...

The friend who took me to the show described the music as "incidental" and I would agree.