Olympia Dukakis has been dissecting and deconstructing King Lear for some time now, and the journey continues at Shakespeare & Company's Stables Theatre in Lenox, MA, June 23-28, opening June 24. The Lear Project, which features the actress and her own daughter, Christina Zorich, had its initial run June 16-21 at MA's Orpheum Theatre Foxborough.
Back in October 1996, Academy Award-winning actress Dukakis presented her one-woman show, The Mystery Of Things...A Woman's Explanation Of Lear, for one night at Dallas' Majestic Theatre. Presented by the Shakespeare Festival of Dallas, Mystery focused on relationships, as Dukakis played Lear and his daughters, Goneril, Regan and Cordelia. The piece concentrated on "a woman's relationship to the uses and abuses of power, authority and tyranny, the love and anger that bonds parent to child, and the acceptance of aging."
No longer a solo show, The Lear Project will star Dukakis as Lear and Zorich as Cordelia, alongside Tod Randolph (Goneril), Virginia Ness Ray (Regan), Tina Packer (the Fool), with Johnny Lee Davenport & Rocco Sisto taking the male roles. Dennis Krausnick, a founding member of Shakespeare & Co., directs. (The show will transfer to that Lenox, MA venue for a run June 23-28). Designing Lear are Michael Giannitti (lighting) and John Pennoyer (set & costumes).
Dukakis starred In Leslie Ayvazian's Singer's Boy at San Francisco's Geary Theatre and has appeared in more than 200 productions on and off Broadway, including Bertolt Brecht's A Man's a Man and Christopher Durang's Marriage of Bette and Boo. She's best known for her Oscar winning performance in the John Patrick Shanley film, Moonstruck. As a founding member and producing artistic director of the Whole Theatre in Montclair, NJ, (1971-90), Dukakis received NJ's Walt Whitman Creative Arts Award. Dukakis is also a founding member of the theatre group, Voices of Earth, and The National Museum of Women in the Arts.
Tickets to the Stables mounting of The Lear Project are sold out. For information call (413) 637-3353. -- By David Lefkowitz