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January 02, 2014

Frank Langella Takes on King Lear

By Sasha Levine | Theater

Frank Langella Takes on <em>King Lear</em>
Johan Persson

In its long-standing tradition of staging excellent Shakespeare productions, Brooklyn Academy of Music (BAM) is set to showcase the bard’s formidable King Lear this winter (January 7 to February 9).

Staged at BAM’s Harvey Theater, the production, which is organized by BAM executive producer Joseph V. Melillo, casts actor Frank Langella as the titular character in a rendition by Britain’s award-winning Chichester Festival Theatre. Directed by Angus Jackson, the company’s associate director, the play has already garnered rave reviews in London. “King Lear is a timeless story,” says Melillo. “Angus has directed it with a poetic emphasis on the relationships—this is not a high-concept directorial production.”

Instead, three-time Tony Award–winning Langella drives the show amid intense anger, compassion, madness—and lots of rain. “I knew that BAM audiences would recognize this production as a significant theater experience,” says Melillo. “One of America’s greatest actors in perhaps the most challenging Shakespearean role.” 651 Fulton St.; 718-636-4100; bam.org.