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A Hypodermic into "Lear"

Lear as seen by his dresser: Actor Carl Schurr (Sir, Lear)
Lear as seen by his dresser: Actor Carl Schurr (Sir, Lear)
Clinton Brandhagen

To preserve life, to experience euphoria, to see the world differently, some people use a hypodermic needle.

In his lair, a fascinated youth. Emily Vere Nicoll (Irene).
In his lair, a fascinated youth. Emily Vere Nicoll (Irene).
Clinton Brandhagen

THE DRESSER, looks at a seasoned, old, but sickly aging actor, who embraces his love for the craft, so much so, he refuses doctors’ care, and would not allow the cancellation of a night’s performance.

It is like watching Richard Burton, or Peter O'Toole, doing “Lear” suffering from dementia, while the faithful servant i.e. The Dresser comes to the rescue. He selects the costumes, prepares meals, and defends the trysts of his employer.

This play is quite a combination of parts: we see, the seasoned actor, addressed as “Sir” in his dressing room, his interaction with fellow actors, his relationship the leading lady, the awe and adulation of a young actress towards “Sir”, and his presentation as King Lear

Bruce Randolph Nelson reinvents himself as The Dresser, and Carl Schurr, was the other pole in the battery. In the end it was watching “Lear” after a hypodermic injection, for you too may be moved to your feet and applaud.

The play runs through May 23rd, at Everyman Theatre, Baltimore Md.21201