The Wallis Annenberg Center for the Performing Arts presents a radical reinvention of Shakespeare’s “KING LEAR,” starring Emmy® Award and NAACP Image Award winner Joe Morton (ABC’s “Scandal,” the legendary Brother from Another Planet, Netflix’s “The Politician,” Justice League). CLICK HERE to read LAArtParty’s review by one of our staff writers.

Opening night took place on May 14, 2022 (previews started on May 10, 2022), but you still have time to catch ths show through June 5, 2022. Remember to check with the venue for up-to-date covid protocols and guidelines – (proof of vaccination and masks are required) at the time of this posting.

Directed by John Gould Rubin, the show opens on Saturday, May 14 and runs through Sunday, June 5, 2022, with previews May 10 through 13, in The Wallis’ Bram Goldsmith Theater. This theatrically adventurous production of perhaps the greatest play in English literature features original music, videos, and projections that will transform the theater into a not-too-distant-future United States ravaged by environmental catastrophes. 

Joining Morton in the cast are Mark Harelik (The Normal Heart on Broadway, Trumbo, “The Morning Show,” “Star Trek Voyager”) as Gloucester; River Gallo (GLAAD Media Rising Star Award, PONYBOI) as Cordelia and Fool; Zach Solomon (“Better Things”) as Edgar and King of France; Brie Eley (“9-1-1,” “The Goldbergs,” “Saved by the Bell”) as Regan; Emily Swallow (“The Mandalorian,” “The Mentalist”) as Goneril; Rafael Jordan (“Law & Order SVU,” “Blue Bloods,” “One Life to Live”) as Edmund; Miguel Perez (“9-1-1,” “The Goldbergs,” “Saved by the Bell”) as understudy for Lear and Gloucester; Stanley Jackson (And In This Corner: Cassius Clay ) as understudy for Edgar/King of France and Edmund; and Danielle Thorpe (“Star Trek: Picard,” “Power”) as understudy for Cordelia/Fool, Regan, and Goneril.

Morton, following his award-winning, sold-out performance as Dick Gregory in Turn Me Loose, returns to The Wallis in the title role of Shakespeare’s tragedy as a man who has brought his country through turmoil, but at what cost? Forced to grapple with violent power struggles and a dysfunctional family, Lear wrestles with the betrayal of his two older daughters who, have banished him to the wilderness, and his own betrayal of his youngest daughter, exiled for the sin of honesty. Turbulence and fury combine to turn a skilled geopolitical master into a dazed, naked wanderer, exposed to the elements.

Left – Joe Morton (King Lear); Right – River Gallo (Cordelia and Fool)

Audience members are encouraged to wear light-colored clothing for each performance to enhance the production design which will be projected throughout the entire auditorium. The performance contains brief nudity.

Admission is $39-$125 per person; CLICK HERE for more info, or to purchase tickets; A Pay-What-You-Can performance takes place on Tuesday, May 17, 2022.

What: “KING LEAR” at the Wallis
Where: The Wallis Annenberg Center for the Performing Arts is located at 9390 N. Santa Monica Blvd, Beverly Hills
When: May 14–June 5, 2022; Previews May 10-13, 2022 – see website for times
Phone: 310-746-4000