The Verdict: Critics Review King Lear, Starring John Lithgow and Annette Bening

The Verdict   The Verdict: Critics Review King Lear, Starring John Lithgow and Annette Bening
The Public Theater's Shakespeare in the Park production of King Lear, starring Tony Award winner John Lithgow and Academy Award nominee Annette Bening, officially opened Aug. 5 after previews that began July 22 at the Delacorte Theater.
John Lithgow
John Lithgow Photo by Joan Marcus

Lithgow (The Columnist, Sweet Smell of Success, Dirty Rotten Scoundrels), who last appeared at the Delacorte in the 1975 production of Hamlet, stars as King Lear under the direction of Tony winner Daniel Sullivan (The Merchant of Venice, Proof). Performances run through Aug. 17. 

Bening ("American Beauty," Coastal Disturbances) portrays Goneril, with Jessica Collins ("Zero Dark Thirty") as Cordelia and Tony Award nominee Jessica Hecht (The Assembled Parties, The View from the Bridge) as Regan.

The critics have filed their reviews, and has collected them for our readers. will continue to update our list as the reviews come in.

AMNY Entertainment Weekly

The Guardian

The Hollywood Reporter

Huffington Post

NBC New York


New York Daily News

New York Magazine/Vulture

New York Post

New York Times

Time Out New York

USA Today

Wall Street Journal



The cast also features Jeremy Bobb (Oswald), Steven Boyer (Fool), Glenn Fleshler (Cornwall), Slate Holmgren (King of France), Christopher Innvar (Albany), Chukwudi Iwuji (Edgar), Clarke Peters (Gloucester), Dale Place (Old Man, Curan), Jay O. Sanders (Kent), Eric Sheffer Stevens (Edmund), Yahya Abdul-Mateen II, Andrew Burnap, Christopher Ghaffari, Ryan-James Hatanaka, Matt Helm, Dave Klasko and Phillip Shinn.

Tickets to Shakespeare in the Park are free and are distributed, two per person, at the Delacorte Theater in Central Park the day of the show. The Public Theater is again offering free tickets through its Virtual Ticketing lottery at on the day of the show.

The Delacorte Theater in Central Park is accessible by entering at 81st Street and Central Park West or at 79th Street and Fifth Avenue.

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