Shakespeare Review: Lear

Kayla McKeon, Staff Writer

 

Left to Right: Regan's Entourage (senior Rianna Cranberg), Gloucester (senior Maeve Forti), and Henchman (junior Max Murphy) perform at a dress rehearsal on Tuesday, Nov. 3 the day before Lear opened. Sam Klein / Sagamore Staff
Left to Right: Regan’s Entourage (senior Rianna Cranberg), Gloucester (senior Maeve Forti), and Henchman (junior Max Murphy) perform at a dress rehearsal on Tuesday, Nov. 3 the day before Lear opened. Sam Klein / Sagamore Staff

From strutting down the runway to family feuds, Queen Lear keeps the audience on its toes. A new take on the Shakespeare classic King Lear brings the audience into a world of high fashion and misplaced love.

Queen Lear, directed by Mary Mastandrea, takes the classic Shakespearean tale and modernizes it, setting it in a modern day fashion Industry in New York. Now being led by a Queen rather than a King, the play completely takes on a new face.

Although an injury halted the show on their opening night, the cast came back stronger and better than before.

A rhythmic opening scene introduces the actors, who dance and move to a lively beat, while a projector lights up with fake tweets from the fashion industry detailing their characters and backstories. The show starts with the retirement party for Lear, founder and CEO of “Queen By Lear” designs. The dance in the scene, which was choreographed by Alex Portenko, gives a glimpse into the life of high fashion that resides in Lear fashion house. The synchronized and well-orchestrated moves were just the tip of the iceberg of a clearly well rehearsed show.

Left to Right: Duchess Cornwall (junior Sarah Dreyfus) performs at a dress rehearsal on Tuesday, Nov. 3 the day before Lear opened. Sam Klein / Sagamore Staff
Left to Right: Duchess Cornwall (junior Sarah Dreyfus) performs at a dress rehearsal on Tuesday, Nov. 3 the day before Lear opened. Sam Klein / Sagamore Staff

As the party begins, a pleasant exchange of kind words and money between Lear, played by Sophia Pouzyrev, and her daughters occurs. The pleasantness doesn’t last, and soon a battle over which of Lear’s employees will run the industry begins. Even Lear’s two eldest daughters, played by seniors Isabela Schettino and Dalia Glazman, aren’t immune to the urge to rule.

As family members of different fashion houses begin to turn on their kin, individuals begin to see who they can really trust. Family is disowned and marriage pushed is aside in a struggle for control of the fashion industry.

With Lear’s family in shambles, the play turns to the house of Gloucester, Lear’s distribution manager. Lear’s family are not the only ones who seem to disregard familial bonds. Gloucester, played by senior Maeve Forti, must deal with her sons while also keeping an eye on the daughters of Lear.

Despite being in a sling, Pouzyrev, playing Lear, grabbed the audience’s attention the second she walked on stage. From the eccentric costume to her outgoing personality, her acting definitely made it seem like she was actually the head of a major fashion organization.

Left to Right: Duchess Cornwall (junior Sarah Dreyfus), Regan (senior Dalia Glazman), Edmund (senior Trevor LaSalvia), and Goneril (senior Isabela Schettino) perform at a dress rehearsal on Tuesday, Nov. 3 the day before Lear opened. Sam Klein / Sagamore Staff
Left to Right: Duchess Cornwall (junior Sarah Dreyfus), Regan (senior Dalia Glazman), Edmund (senior Trevor LaSalvia), and Goneril (senior Isabela Schettino) perform at a dress rehearsal on Tuesday, Nov. 3 the day before Lear opened. Sam Klein / Sagamore Staff

The lighting, designed by Jacob Bogdanov, and the set, designed by Katy Linnett, add to the mood and give the show more dimension. Using lighting to simulate rain put the audience right in the moment with the cast.

The show was given a standing ovation at its close. The high school’s production of Lear will go up again on Friday, Nov. 6 at 7:30 p.m., and its final run will be on Saturday, Nov. 7 at 7:30 p.m.