Tuesday, May 24, 2011

Seeing a Himalayan Peak Scaled at BAM

I'm seeing Sir Derek Jacobi in Michael Grandage's deftly directed production of "King Lear" at BAM tomorrow night, and I admit that I'm a bit punchy with anticipation. The production debuted at the Donmar in London, to superlatives:


It was nearly sold out here at BAM from the get-go, and has garnered raves here, too:


I'm thrilled to be seeing someone of Sir Derek Jacobi's intelligence, talent and finesse in the role. Here's what he said about playing the elderly King:

“It is a peak in the Himalayas, part of a mountain range that includes ‘Hamlet,’ ‘Cyrano de Bergerac’ and the Scottish play,” [Sir Derek] said (following actorly practice, he never says “Macbeth” in the theater if he can help it).

He continued: “When you’re young you’re kind of judged on your Hamlet. If you get through that hoop successfully, you’re admitted to the classical club. When you’re older, you have to go through the Lear hoop to see if they were right to admit you to the club in the first place.”

He's far too modest. I am not going to see Sir Derek jump through hoops. He has nothing to prove to me, or to anyone. I'm just excited to be one of the lucky ones, one of the "happy few" who will forevermore be able to say that I saw him play King Lear in that legendary Grandage production at BAM.

-Jack Simony

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