The Grandfather of all Shakespearean tragedies was portrayed by the Pittsburgh Irish Classical Theatre cast more like a tragic old uncle’s family tale. Despite the fact that this is a classic Shakespearean tragedy, there are so many comedic forays in the play that the star, Dakin Matthews adroitly exhibits that at times you find yourself chuckling out loud. Take heart, though it is an expertly executed tragedy and you will cry also.
The sparse set is wonderful and the drum for sounds affects very effective in allowing the dialogue to shine. My favorite characters personally in addition to Lear are Edmund and Edgar and the Fool. Edmund is the perfect cad with a lascivious look that can best be enjoyed in the intimacy of The Charity Randall Theatre in the Stephen Foster Memorial in Oakland. Likewise Edgar bounces between his disguise as Tom the beggar and a gentleman heir to Gloucester with regal ease. And The Fool could not have been more aptly cast in Simon Bradbury whose antics truly mimic what you would expect of a court jester with just a hint of modernization.
The acoustics in the theatre are amazing and the story telling undiminished by editing of this lengthy play. From start to finish the rending of the play is wrought with genius from the directing of James Christy to the scenery by David Gordon.
A story of deception and valor at odds with each other, of good versus evil, of triumph and the twist of tragedy, King Lear has always been for centuries a favorite of the masses and now the Pittsburgh Irish and Classical Theatre cast, director and artists have truly earned the banner of a production that is Positively Pittsburgh Live.
If you haven’t yet seen King Lear it is worth the ticket price at twice the price.
Performances are Tuesday, April 15 at 7 PM
Wednesday to Saturday, April 16 to 19 at 8 PM.
Wednesday to Friday, April 23-25 at 8 PM
Saturday, April 26 at 2 PM and Saturday, April 26 at 8 PM
For Tickets call Pro Arts at 412-394-3353 or visit www.picttheatre.org.