In the first act of King Lear, the harassed sovereign, driven from his daughters house, cries, Who is it that can tell me who I am? If only existential questions were always so easy. In the Public Theaters revival of King Lear, which begins performances Oct. 18, the benighted ruler is none other than Sam Waterston, a superb theater actor, now best known for his television roles. If youve seen Waterston on stage or screen then youll know his capacity for combining great force with great sympathy and always with particular intelligence. (In his last stage outing, as Polonius in the Publics Hamlet, he made that old fool seem positively sage.) Under James Macdonalds direction, hell play the monarch who chooses so unwisely among his daughters--and suffers the mother of all tragedies.
Oct. 16-Nov. 20, 2011