KING LEAR AND HIS THREE DAUGHTERS
The ruling monarch of Britain, King Lear, is highly unlikely to accept a coffee cup stating "Best Dad Ever." He wants his trio of daughters Goneril, Regan and Cordelia, to state verbally and vehemently their devotion, affection and loyalty to him so he can divide his kingdom between them. With virtuous sincerity, Goneril and Regan profess as he requested, stating love for their father is dearer than eyesight or liberty. Only Cordelia is reticent to speak, no flowery words from that independent lass. Lear, in a fury, disowns his youngest daughter and divides his kingdom between Goneril and Regan.
For an unforgettable lesson in greed, envy and disloyalty, rush over to the Connecticut Repertory Theatre at the Jorgensen Auditorium on the campus of the University of Connecticut until Sunday, October 16 for a masterful and memorable production of William Shakespeare's tragedy "King Lear."
Graeme Malcolm's Lear is the portrait of a proud papa who slowly descends into madness as he loses his stability and reason when his crown grows too heavy for his head. Witnessing his children Goneril (Arene Bozich) and her husband the Duke of Albany (Michael Bobenhausen) and Regan (Natalia Cuevas) and her husband the Duke of Cornwall (Darren Lee Brown), plot and scheme against him and against each other, quickly sickens Lear's mind. He realizes all too quickly and too well that it is Cordelia (Kristen Wolfe) who is loyal and steadfast in her devotion.
Even without benefit of a dowry, Cordelia is wed to the Prince of France (Ben Senkowski). Intrigues emerge when Lear banishes the loyal Earl of Kent (Kent Coleman) from the kingdom, only to have Kent disguise himself as Caius to stay close to protect his sovereign. Also close to the King is the Earl of Gloucester, a noble Raphael Nash Thompson, whose two sons wage a conflict. Edmund (Curtis Longfellow), Gloucester's illegitimate son wants to eliminate his brother Edgar (Bryce Wood) from favor and plots against him with venom.
Armies are raised to do battle, Gloucester suffers a severe injury, letters are forged, poisons are administered, innocents are slain, human flaws are revealed and wickedness reigns, all while Lear slowly disintegrates into despair. Dale AJ Rose directs this stellar cast, with costuming by Raven Ong, scenic design by Pedro L. Guevara, lighting by Margaret Peebles and sound by Justin Graziani.
For tickets ($7-30), call the CT Rep Theatre at 860-486-2113 or online at www.crt.uconn.edu. Performances are Wednesday and Thursday at 7:30 p.m., Friday at 8 p.m., Saturday and Sunday at 2 p.m.
When King Lear poses the question "Which of you loves me the most?," he is unprepared for the responses and consequences that emerge.