It’s been a tough year. Luckily, the NY Classical Theatre is back to lift our spirits with outdoor performances, held across the city, of King Lear. That’s right—Shakespeare’s masterpiece of vanity and greed. King Lear is about an aging father who is so fooled by the flattery of his two older daughters that he abandons the true love and loyalty of his youngest, Cordelia, thus losing his mind and igniting war. In the play’s final act, Lear is fully mad and Cordelia has been hanged. Holding her corpse, he cannot accept the conclusion wrought by his own folly. “This feather stirs,” he says, “she lives! If it be so, / It is a chance which does redeem all sorrows / That ever I have felt.” But he is only imagining her breath. It’s a play so sad that in 1681 a man named Nahum Tate rewrote the ending: Cordelia is saved and reunited with Lear, who also regains his throne. It is this version of the play, which fell out of popularity in 1831, that the troupe is performing. We’ve had enough tragedy lately. —C.J.F.
You can find information about dates and locations here