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Bard’s ‘Lear’ lords over capital crowd

Show extended to help accommodate crowds

Washington, D.C., auds are packing the summertime’s first hit here in the Shakespeare Theater Company’s “King Lear,” a remounting of director Robert Falls’ violent and athletic production first staged in 2006 at Chicago’s Goodman Theater. Stacy Keach again heads a cast that includes many performers from the earlier production.

A one-week extension to the four-week run will help accommodate record crowds for the Harman Theater. Show now closes July 26.

Set in Yugoslavia during the turbulent 1990s, the production takes full advantage of the 2-year-old venue’s state-of-the-art technical capabilities. Washington Post critic Peter Marks called the production “a macabre romp” and said Keach “with virile authority dexterously charts the poignant course of Lear’s decline.”

In September, the theater will host the National Theater of Great Britain’s production of “Phedre,” featuring Helen Mirren, for the play’s only live North American engagement. (It will also participate in the June 29 and July 13 screening of the play along with other selected theaters.)

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