Actors: Everyman's Disasters

It is a nice enough coastal town, but, as regards Shakespeare, Connecticut's Stratford is spotty. In the nine years since its founding, Stratford's Festival Theater has followed a practice of putting big names in mediocre productions. Katharine Hepburn in 1960 did nothing to salvage a ragged Twelfth Night; Robert Ryan was a disaster in Antony and Cleopatra.

This summer Stratford boasts a production that any Shakespeare theater in the world might prize — a good company with a triumphant King Lear, played by Veteran Character Actor Morris Carnovsky. Fact is, Carnovsky's Lear is such a popular and critical triumph that last...

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