In Lear/Loman death really IS just the beginning.
From the start, King Lear bears the heavy scars of his earthly existence as he wrestles with the consequences of a life lived in meaningless ‘pomp’ without the depth of true love until his daughter Cordelia is born. And then face to face with how his vanity killed them both as well as his other children. Until…enter…Willy Loman (Death of a Salesman). Lear suddenly finds his very vocal rage interrupted by a chilled and just arrived, upbeat Willy in this timeless, space-less, Purgatory where people find themselves housed for the purposes of examining their lives. At first, confused about the strange pairing, the two men begin to find common ground and entertain each other with language games in between and outbursts of Lear’s demented anguish.
But where Lear has been dealing his grief for who-knows-how-long, Loman lands squarely in the center of new, eye-opening confusion about all that he’s done to corrupt the lives of his family with his own delusions, attitudes, favoritism for one son over another, and lack of fidelity for his wife among so many fears and terrible let-downs.
Other characters play into both men’s pseudo-realities – past and present time – as living and dead family members hover on ‘the other side’ of the reality the men share, offering opportunities to understand what their lack – mostly of love – and selfishness has forged. And maybe even change outcomes for some.
This place, for both men, is a reckoning. But also a place where they discover empathy, friendship and ultimately an understanding of what it means to truly love.
It’s not over though…no one gets a pass that easy…
Stellar performances by two L.A. actor favorites, Leon Russom (Lear) and Bruno Oliver (Loman). Beautifully directed by Scott Leggett.
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