The king’s not dead

By Mad Dog
Published: Oct 25, 2012

The theater is on the third floor of a church near Times Square, and there is no elevator. The set? Subliminal — it’s black box theater. But as soon as Stephen Mo Hanan steps on stage, you know this will be an immensely satisfying “King Lear.” He delivers his first lines —“’tis our fast intent/ To shake all cares and business from our age/ Conferring them on younger strengths, while we/ Unburthen’d crawl toward death” — as if death was a joke. And to him it is. This is not an old man, this is an immature boy trapped in an old man’s body — and that deepens the tragedy. I tend to nap at the theater; I didn’t at this "Lear.” Yes, the second act drags; blame Shakespeare. But for much of Act I, I was on the edge of my seat. After, I thought: Gee, what a great night, just blocks away from some of the dreariest theater imaginable. “Lear” runs October 18 to November 4. For information, click here.