Click to Skip Ad
Closing in...
The Gift That Keeps on Giving - Leaked Sony Email Challenges Denzel Washington's Overseas Box Office Appeal The Gift That Keeps on Giving - Leaked Sony Email Challenges Denzel Washington's Overseas Box Office Appeal Backlash Against New VH1 Series 'Sorority Sisters' Backlash Against New VH1 Series 'Sorority Sisters' Tessa Thompson Books Female Lead Role in Ryan Coogler's 'Creed' Opposite Michael B. Jordan Tessa Thompson Books Female Lead Role in Ryan Coogler's 'Creed' Opposite Michael B. Jordan Samuel L. Jackson Has His Own Challenge for Other Celebrites in Reaction to "Racist Police" (Watch) Samuel L. Jackson Has His Own Challenge for Other Celebrites in Reaction to "Racist Police" (Watch) Why Aren’t We Talking About the Sexual Assault in 'Beyond the Lights'? Why Aren’t We Talking About the Sexual Assault in 'Beyond the Lights'? Page to Screen Possibilities for Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie's 'Americanah' (Lupita Nyong'o, David Oyelowo Starring) Page to Screen Possibilities for Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie's 'Americanah' (Lupita Nyong'o, David Oyelowo Starring) David Oyelowo Joins Lupita Nyong’o in 'Americanah' Film Adaptation David Oyelowo Joins Lupita Nyong’o in 'Americanah' Film Adaptation Leaked Sony Emails Reveal Interest in Destiny's Child Biopic + Immersive Kanye West Feature Film Experience Leaked Sony Emails Reveal Interest in Destiny's Child Biopic + Immersive Kanye West Feature Film Experience Weekend B.O. Dec. 12-14 (So How’s That Boycott Working for Ya?) Weekend B.O. Dec. 12-14 (So How’s That Boycott Working for Ya?) What Sony Pictures Chief Amy Pascal Should Do if She Sincerely Wants to Make Amends What Sony Pictures Chief Amy Pascal Should Do if She Sincerely Wants to Make Amends Ava DuVernay Earns Her Way Into the History Books - First Black Woman Director to Be Nominated for a Golden Globe Award Ava DuVernay Earns Her Way Into the History Books - First Black Woman Director to Be Nominated for a Golden Globe Award Woody Allen Says He Won’t Hire a Black Actor Unless the Role Calls for One... Whatever That Means Woody Allen Says He Won’t Hire a Black Actor Unless the Role Calls for One... Whatever That Means Will You Join The Boycott 'Exodus' Movement? (Or You Don't Care) Will You Join The Boycott 'Exodus' Movement? (Or You Don't Care) My MoviePass Experience - What Works & What Could Be Improved (The Movie Theater Subscription Service) My MoviePass Experience - What Works & What Could Be Improved (The Movie Theater Subscription Service) Co-Screenwriter of 'Noah' Explains Why There Are No Black People Or POC In The Film Co-Screenwriter of 'Noah' Explains Why There Are No Black People Or POC In The Film Aaron McGruder Finally Explains Why He Left 'The Boondocks' Aaron McGruder Finally Explains Why He Left 'The Boondocks' Lifetime Launches New Series Set In Elite World Of Hip-Hop Majorette Competitions (Watch Preview) Lifetime Launches New Series Set In Elite World Of Hip-Hop Majorette Competitions (Watch Preview) Netflix Explains Why It Doesn't Always Have That Film Or TV Show You Really Want To See (Video) Netflix Explains Why It Doesn't Always Have That Film Or TV Show You Really Want To See (Video) Will Smith Explains Why Willow Smith Dropped Out Of 'Annie' Remake Will Smith Explains Why Willow Smith Dropped Out Of 'Annie' Remake Tichina Arnold Says She Talked To Martin Lawrence About Doing A 'Martin' Movie... Tichina Arnold Says She Talked To Martin Lawrence About Doing A 'Martin' Movie...

Theater Review - Exit, Pursued By A Bear's All-Male Presentation Of Shakespeare's "King Lear"

Photo of Tambay A. Obenson By Tambay A. Obenson | Shadow and Act June 22, 2011 at 2:01AM

A review of the Ed Sylvanus Iskandar-directed all-male (majority black male actors) staging of Shakespeare's King Lear submitted by Rod Gailes OBC, winner of the last Shadow And Act $3,000 Black Filmmaker Challenge (he's currently in post-production on the short film he made with the cash, and we should be debuting it in coming weeks). It'll run through the 27th, presented by Exit, Pursued By A Bear, here in New York City for those interested, or even mildly curious.
1

A review of the Ed Sylvanus Iskandar-directed all-male (majority black male actors) staging of Shakespeare's King Lear submitted by Rod Gailes OBC, winner of the last Shadow And Act $3,000 Black Filmmaker Challenge (he's currently in post-production on the short film he made with the cash, and we should be debuting it in coming weeks). It'll run through the 27th, presented by Exit, Pursued By A Bear, here in New York City for those interested, or even mildly curious.

Plus it's FREE, you get a dinner, and you're encouraged to bring drinks and dessert. But you have to RSVP. Details HERE.

In addition to the fact that Rod penned the review, I should also mention that the cast of this interpretation of Shakespeare's work is made up primarily of black male actors - and one of them stars in Rod's S&A Filmmaker Challenge short film, Soft Focus.

Last night, I had the great pleasure of experiencing EPBB's pitch perfect 5 hour all male, theatrical extravaganza, "King Lear" and was WOW'd!!! Set in the 1980's "Ball" culture, the production contextualizes Lear as "Queen Mother" of "The House of Lear" dividing "her" lands among the most complimentary of her "daughters". We know the story, but this...this familiar tale is told with several tangy twists.

Towering on a series of heels that would give a supermodel cause to pause, force of Nature, Billy Porter, serves us a Bold, Saucy, scenery chewing, yet textured re-imagining of the titular Lear that is pure theater gold. Director Iskandar & his androgynous band of merry men revive the word "ensemble" in its truest sense. BRAVO.

Having never had the opportunity to see the unabridged Lear, I am convinced there is no more enjoyable way for it to be done than the one Mr. Iskandar has concocted. Lounging on sofas, chaise, chairs & ottomans, we, the audience, were treated to pre-show libations served by a cast chock full of Broadway veterans, a first intermission dinner of spiced rice noodles (and a delicious banana bread), and a second intermission potluck of desserts. Good food, good service, good company, and good THEATRE! All tucked neatly in a residential studio space (location a secret until invited).OMG! Boutique, private, underground theater at it's privileged BEST.

But lest one be seduced by the trappings, please know the evening includes more bravura performances than can be mentioned here. Soul Stirring vocal commentary by "The Voice", Mykal Kilgore is a welcome surprise at the start and end of each act, increasing in frequency as the evening progresses. Jon-Michael Reese's "Cordelia" oozes a regal sensitivity that belies gender specificity. The curiously ageless, Noah Galvin as "Fool" is a consistent joy, especially in his one on one counseling sessions with "the Queen".

Tyrone Mitchell Henderson as "Gloucester" is charming & heart breaking. Curtis Wiley's "Duke of Albany" was a cool breeze. And the list goes on and on through the more than 17 person cast.

A special shout out to "Regan" AKA "Kunta" AKA Aaron Moten (recent Julliard grad & one of the stars of the new OBC DreamTheatre/Shadow And Act film, "SOFT FOCUS")! His "Regan" is disturbingly vampyric and measured in ways it would only spoil to outline here. Suffice it to say, Brilliant!! No wig necessary.

If EPBB continues with this kind of visionary approach to creating unique evenings of theatre, the sky's the limit. I can't imagine what they have in store for us next!!. Stay tuned.

King Lear runs Friday thru Monday at a private undisclosed location thru July 2nd. Find it if you can! LOL (na-nu-na-nu-na-na)

Rod Gailes OBC is a writer, director for the stage & screen, arts educator, and culture commentator

This article is related to: Theater


Shadow & ActNewsletter