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  King Lear Reviews
King Lear
King Lear

King Lear
Redtwist Theatre
Thru - Aug 4, 2019

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Redtwist Theatre

  • Highly Recommended
  • Recommended
  • Somewhat Recommended
  • Not Recommended

Chicago Tribune- Recommended

"...Scott hasn't crafted a production stuffed with conceptual flourishes here. But his cast pays careful attention to the nuances of the text, and the pacing creates a suitable inexorable sense of dread - the wheel is in motion and, as Edmund notes near the end, it will "come full circle." Whether we try to wrest it from the axle, throw barriers in front of it - or simply deny it's moving at all - the wheel of fate and life grinds ever forward. Ripeness is all. And we're all going to reach our natural sell-by date before we're ready to be plucked off the shelf and tossed in the dumpster."
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Kerry Reid



Chicago Reader- Highly Recommended

"...The physical and mental infirmities of age and the inevitability of death hang over this bleak, brutal, yet sometimes surprisingly funny play. Lear-cut off from his family and protected only by his faithful servants Kent (Cameron Feagin) and the Fool (Liz Cloud)-and Gloucester both suffer horribly for their poor judgment, forced to wander mad and blind, respectively, through a tempest-torn world where all established values are turned absurdly inside out and upside down. As they are transformed by their ordeals-and as the story's villains rise to the heights of power before finally being crushed under their own ambitions-King Lear binds the audience in a collective awareness of the mortality that we share with these characters, and with each other. This is storefront Shakespeare at its best."
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Albert Williams



Windy City Times- Highly Recommended

"...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?"
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Mary Shen Barnidge



Chicago On the Aisle- Recommended

"...Redtwist Theatre, the fearless vest-pocket company in Edgewater, winds up its season, the last for co-founder and artistic director Michael Colucci at the helm, with its first venture into Shakesespeare: a lean, uneven ďKing Lear,Ē but one altogether imposing in Brian Parryís assured, fierce and affecting performance in the title role."
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Lawrence B. Johnson



NewCity Chicago- Highly Recommended

"...Despite an incomprehensibly deployed set design of painted bed sheets covering what might be a topographic map, for the quality of the acting, which lights up every syllable of the text, this is no doubt some of the year's best Shakespeare."
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Irene Hsiao



Chicago Theatre Review- Highly Recommended

"...Iím not someone who thinks everyone has to like everything. I think people should be willing to try to new things, but in the end, if Shakespeare isnít your thing, itís not your thing, and I donít think constantly trying to convince someone to change their mind is worth anyoneís time. That said, if you havenít seen a lot of Shakespeare, or avoid it because you think the material is too dense or distant, I strongly recommend giving this production a try. An extremely talented cast finds the beating heart in every line and the finished result is compelling and heartbreaking."
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Kevin Curran



Buzznews.net- Highly Recommended

"...Let me apologize for gushing (and being late with this review), but Brian Parry's performance as King Lear at Redtwist Theater is nothing short of astounding. One of the finest Shakespeare performances I have ever seen, Parry brings goosebumps and rushes from his first few lines. He acts the role deeply and well. He is King Lear."
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Bill Esler



Chicago On Stage- Highly Recommended

"...So universal and timeless is the play that many years ago I suggested an addition to Oakton Community College's adult education program: a performance of King Lear in the morning followed by a session on estate planning in the afternoon. This never happened. What a missed opportunity!"
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Karen Topham



Picture This Post- Recommended

"...This play has a reputation for grandness and was one Redtwist's founders waited to perform until their last season before handing the company off beginning next fall. But Scott's King Lear is personal and often funny. There's no room for lines to get lost in or for the many characters to become confused. Lear and Gloucester must be in steep mental decline to be fooled by Kent and Edgar's disguised voices, and the play does sag under its complex plotting late in the game. But this is a production that delivers on Redtwist's intimacy and contains a bevy of insights into a classic text while being perfectly suited to the moment."
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Jacob Davis



Rescripted- Somewhat Recommended

"...King Lear contains some of Shakespeare's heaviest emotional punches, and most gut-wrenching tragic-plot clockwork - each misfortune clicking right into place at just the wrong time, propelling each moment forward like a bullet, hurtling towards the awful, awful climax. Though it has its shining moments, this production does not move at the pace required of a play with a nearly three hour runtime. These complicated plot machinations are lost, and the emotional lives of the characters feel distant."
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Aaron Lockman