Review: Lear (adapted) by Vortex Repertory Theatre
by Michael Meigs

Short take:

 The Vortex version of Lear features several accomplished Austin actors, including most notably Jennifer Underwood in the title role, but director Rudy Ramirez trivializes Shakespeare's great epic of royal folly and delusion.  Lear's rage against the storm is converted into a confused confrontation with paparazzi, and key narration is projected as sound-bites from MSNBC-style talking heads, proving that style can defeat substance.  Cross-gender casting for the roles of Kent and Edda (Edgar) is puzzling; less so for Shannon Grounds as the Fool.  Underwood doesn't really get going until the mad scene in Act IV, scene 6. Other standouts in the cast include Micah Goodding as the wily and wicked bastard Edmund, Jen Coy as Regan and Tom Truss as Cornwall.    The last third or so of the production -- from the blinding of Gloucester onward -- has impact and conviction.


Review by Cate Blouke at the Statesman's Austin360 SeeingThings blog, May 24

Lear (adapted)
by William Shakespeare, adapted by Rudy Ramirez
The Vortex

May 20 - June 18, 2011
The Vortex
2307 Manor Road
Austin, TX, 78722