The Standby Lear: Beautiful Rumination on Fear and Opportunity

The Standby Lear, directed by Terry Edward Moore, is a beautiful story of a husband and wife in the acting world, providing opportunity for intense reflection on what living life on standby entails. While starting out as a lighthearted comedy based upon the Shakespearean tragedy, the show quickly transforms into an emotional examination of love and fear in an actor’s life.

Larry Paulsen and Jeanne Paulsen have commanding presences on stage, constantly engaging the audience with their electrifying performances. They turn a simple set of a two-person show into both the world of Lear and the setting for a heartfelt conversation. They move across the stage with grace and expertly presented emotion, evoking laughter and compassion from the audience with perfect deliveries. They are able to take a domestic acting story and imbue it with such life that I could not tear my eyes away from the stage.

“Standby Lear”
By John W. Lowell
Directed by Terry Edward Moore
Starring Larry and Jeanne Paulsen
Thalia’s Umbrella
12th Avenue Arts
March 30-April 15, 2023
Photographs copyright Annabel Clark

I would highly recommend this show for those with experience in the theater world, as a lot of the references and content are tailored to those inducted into theater. Any fans of Shakespeare’s King Lear would also enjoy the respect evident for the role. The story is very sweet and the actors and director evidently care a lot about the show they are putting on, making it quite the experience.

The Standby Lear is put on by Thalia’s Umbrella at 12th Ave Arts, accessible from the link to Capitol Hill. The show runs until April 15th, and tickets are about $10-$15. Get a chance to see it at 7:30 p.m. from now until then!

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