Three hours of superb, sublime Shakespeare never went so fast as Antaeus’ production of King Lear. Harvard trained director Bart DeLorenzo had the daunting task of helming a double cast show (Dakin Matthews & Harry Groener as leading, ‘career-crowning’ role). It’s an unsparing look at an aging father, at the brink of senility, about to divide his riches amongst his daughters, and the ‘royal family dysfunction’ that ensues.
The female leads exquisitely express a full range of emotions, emanating from greed, one of the seven deadly sins. Cordelia (Rebecca Mozo) passionately defends her father; she is a beacon of hope and light, in contrast to her perfectly evil sisters, Regan (Francia DiMase) and Goneril (Kirsten Potter).
From period costumes, gory makeup, thunderous music, and a bare-bones set, one gets a vivid snapshot of the mind and soul of Lear, both the turmoil internal and external, as he goes mad amidst a fierce storm. Dakin Matthews is Lear quintessential—the audience laughs and cries with him and feels his pain as he so eloquently orates.
Of particular note is Stephen Caffrey as the Fool, who wisely articulates pearls of wisdom and truth that nobles can’t readily express. “When we are born, we cry that we are come—To this great stage of Fools.” King Lear, 4.6
The Antaeus Company once again keeps classical theater alive in ourselves and our community with this top notch ensemble expressing the creative genius that is William Shakespeare.
”King Lear” plays through August 8th at the Deaf West Theatre in North Hollywood, located at 5112 Lankershim Blvd. You can get tickets at www.antaeus.com or at 818 506-1983.