KING LEAR (PORTERS OF HELLSGATE): 67% – BITTERSWEET

Larry Cedar in the Porters of Hellsgate’ production of “King Lear” at the Studio Stage. Credit: Rob Cunliffe.

SWEET
Though the troupe’s crowning achievement may still be yet to come, these young Porters have much to be proud of this largely successful production of one of Shakespeare’s most daunting works.
Steven Stanley – StageSceneLA

BITTER
In my experience, a Porters of Hellsgate show is an earnest conglomeration of youthful optimism and amateur-hour doldrums. A prime factor in this is that a good many of the company members can’t act. The company’s loyalty to these actors is impressive, but it doesn’t do any favors to those of them who can effectively convey character and emotion. That the company places personality above the deserts of a paying public is intolerable in this, a production that may be called professional inasmuch as it charges admission.
Jason Rohrer – Stage and Cinema

BITTERSWEET
Bigley fails, however, to adequately address the stylistic disconnect in the cast, which features performers of classically-trained stature worthy of the Old Vic alongside others whose inflections seem more typical of the east San Fernando Valley.
F. Kathleen Foley – LA Times

SWEET
What this means is that the Porters have done King Lear, that they have done it honestly, and that they have done it successfully. This is not a neutered, low-rent production. This is an audacious undertaking by a young and under-resourced ensemble who, conventional wisdom would suggest, should know better than to try. Thankfully, they do not.
Jonathan Redding – Advice to the Players

KING LEAR
Porters of Hellsgate
Studio/Stage
520 North Western Ave., Los Angeles
Through January 27, 2013
Fridays and Saturdays at 8:00, Sundays at 5:00
Tickets: $15-$20; (818) 325-2055
Running time: 3 hours

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