But the biggest — and certainly the free-est — version of the Shakespeare tragedy is yet to come. The Public Theater will present Lear in Central Park July 22-Aug. 17. It's the first time the play has been staged in the Delacorte Theatre since 1973, when James Earl Jones played the title role.
This time, John Lithgow portrays the pompous, short-sighted old tyrant. And he's got some pretty formidable daughters. Annette Bening and Jessica Hecht are the meanies, Goneril and Regan, while Jessica Collins is the loyal, unappreciated Cordelia.
Other roles are filled by Steven Boyer (Fool), Chukwudi Iwuji (Edgar), Clarke Peters (Gloucester), Jay O. Sanders (Kent) and Eric Sheffer Stevens (Edmund). Dan Sullivan directs, because, well, it's Central Park, it's summer and he's Dan Sullivan. Where else would he be?
The revival, which was to play a pre-Broadway engagement at Toronto's Royal Alexandra Theatre this summer prior to a New York return in the fall, has been postponed due to a lack of an appropriate port in a storm (Sorry!) — that is, an available theatre.
In early January, Tony Award-winning producers Barry and Fran Weissler, along with David Mirvish, announced plans to bring a new production of Titanic to Broadway, inspired by the acclaimed chamber production of the musical that played London's Southwark Playhouse last year. U.K. director Thom Southerland was attached to helm.
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