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Movies, dining and things to do / Spokane and North Idaho

Another chance to see McKellen as ‘King Lear’

Shakespeare clearly isn't for everyone. This has always been true, even in Elizabethan times.

Still, I was amused to see a recent story about how a group of pastors and parents protested a performance of Shakespeare's works at a North Carolina high school. According to a local news report, the production was stopped when one of the school superintendent's staff "realized there was drinking being portrayed as well as inappropriate language and portrayal of a suicide."

Imagine, drinking, "inappropriate language" and suicide in a Shakespeare play.

Well, gird your loins, kids, because all that and more is coming to the Bing Crosby Theater at 2 p.m. on Nov. 25. That's when the theater will screen the Stage to Screen production of Shakespeare's "King Lear," starring Ian Mckellen.

The production is the same that played in September and was directed by Jonathan Munby as part of the National Theatre Live series. This one was, apparently, a filmed recapturing of the previous performance at the Chichester Festival Theatre.

McKellen, perhaps the greatest Shakespearean actor of his age, is worth seeing in pretty much anything (even in such movie franchises as "The Lord of the Rings" and "The X-Men"). But seeing him as Lear is priceless.

As a critic for The Guardian wrote, "There is a sense of an actor putting the finest last touches to his majestic legacy: in McKellen’s incarnation as the arrogant ruler undone by age, infirmity and filial disobedience."