King Lear on Broadway

King Lear on Broadway

New York, NY
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About King Lear on Broadway

Once every decade or so, a great actor gives a performance that reminds us why we go to the theater. Last year, that actor was Glenda Jackson in Three Tall Women. Now, she’s back on Broadway, climbing the tallest mountain any actor can climb. Glenda Jackson is KING LEAR. The Tony® and two-time Oscar® winner plays Lear for 19 weeks only in a new production directed by Sam Gold, leading a cast that includes Jayne Houdyshell (The Humans), Elizabeth Marvel (Other Desert Cities), Aisling O’Sullivan (“Raw”), Pedro Pascal (“Game of Thrones”), John Douglas Thompson (Jitney), and Ruth Wilson (“The Affair"). KING LEAR will feature an original score by Philip Glass. “Glenda Jackson is the mightiest of them all,” says The New York Times. Don’t miss her in the mightiest role of all time — KING LEAR.

Tell Me More

In a gender-bending twist on a William Shakespeare classic, Glenda Jackson — the 82-year-old acclaimed actress who took home her first Tony Award last season for her performance in “Three Tall Women” — returns to the stage as the titular “King Lear.” In a fresh take on an age-old drama, director Sam Gold, who previously helmed stripped-down productions of Shakespeare’s “Othello” and “Hamlet,” has enlisted Oscar nominee Philip Glass to compose an original score for the timeless tragedy.

When the aging King Lear of Britain decides to retire and divide his estate among his three daughters, Goneril, Regan and Cordelia, he offers the largest share to the daughter who declares her love for him the most. However, when Cordelia — the youngest of the three and Lear’s favorite — doesn’t adhere to his odd request, Lear shuns her and gives her piece of the royal pie to the others. Chaos ensues when a Fool tells Lear he’s made a grave mistake, and he’s slowly driven to madness.

Recommended for 12+. Children under the age of 4 are not permitted in the theatre.

What to watch for

Glenda Jackson previously played King Lear in a 2016 production at the Old Vic in London.

After winning two Oscars — for the films “Women in Love” and “A Touch of Class” — Glenda Jackson took a two-decade hiatus from performing to serve in Parliament, returning to the stage with “Lear” in London.

Also playing a traditional male role in this production is Jayne Houdyshell, who will portray the Earl of Gloucester.

Sam Gold won a Tony Award in 2015 for his direction of the musical “Fun Home.”

Run time

3hr 30min (including one intermission)

Start date

February 28th, 2019

End date

June 9th, 2019




Cort Theatre


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