Danny is a pretty good sport when it comes to activities that interest me; however, when I learned Shakespeare in Detroit’s performance of King Lear was over three hours long I knew I was pushing it. To avoid a potential fight, I decided to dump him and take Lindsey on a date night. She loves Shakespeare and a Detroit adventure sounded right for a busy mom.
SiD performs at Marygrove College’s theater and it was my first visit to the campus. We were stunned to see how gorgeous the architecture is. Marygrove is beautiful old world, surrounded but a challenged new world. We didn’t have an opportunity to explore but it’s definitely on my to-do list.
On to the evening’s main event…
I’ll admit I have never been a Shakespeare fan. I don’t understand Old English and I see too much folly in his stories to like them. That said, I have great respect for art and culture and I value appreciating things I might not fully understand. It’s for that reason I wanted to see King Lear even if I had no idea what the story was about and couldn’t understand 75% of the dialog. Fortunately, the language barrier didn’t matter because the actors’ emotional performance spoke volumes.
SiD casting for King Lear is fantastic. The play has a large number of character but SiD only has a cast of about a dozen actors; therefore, some people had to play double duty. These talented women and men do such a good job, they give all the characters their own identity and the audience knows exactly who is who at all time. As previously noted the play is long; however, the actors bring a high level of emotion to the play from start to finish.
Last month I spoke with costume designer Cal Schwartz and it led me to pay extra attention to the wardrobe. The characters in this world of King Lear wear grunge attire and it perfectly fits the dark mood of the tragedy. Cal integrated different fashion elements that tied all the characters together, at the same time he gave each house a unique look. This helped give the characters identifying qualities while tying the show together as one story. The visual fit the story so perfectly, I can honestly say seeing King Lear in tights wouldn’t feel right.
Unfortunately, Shakespeare in Detroit didn’t meet their fundraising goal and there won’t be a summer performance this year; however, King Lear has two more performances this weekend. If you have time, I think it’s worth it. Tickets are available here