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King Lear

First Preview: Dec 27, 2018

Opening Date: Dec 27, 2018

Closing Date: Jun 09, 2019

Running Time: 03:45

King Lear Show Site Icon

Playing @

James Earl Jones Theatre

138 W 48th St New York, NY 10036

View theatre details
King Lear, Shakespeare's masterpiece, is one of the towering works of world literature.

In no other play is Shakespeare's tragic vision more terrifyingly clear-- and nowhere in his canon does he create a richer or more complex set of characters. When King Lear divides his kingdom among his three daughters, he sets in motion a cascade of violence that sweeps the civilized world to the brink of chaos, and Lear to the edge of madness.

Once every decade or so, a great actor comes to Broadway and gives a performance that reminds us why we go to the theater. Last year, that actor was Glenda Jackson in Three Tall Women. This season, “the best actress alive” (The Guardian) is back on Broadway, and she’s climbing the tallest mountain any actor can climb... 

Glenda Jackson is King Lear.
Age Guidance

Age Guidance: 16

Show Notes

Show Notes: 1 Intermission

Audience Advisory:

Performances begin promptly. There is no late seating.

Performance Schedule:



Philip Glass - original music


Sam Gold

Written by

William Shakespeare

TDF Tickets Offers:

TDF member tickets:

Not currently available for this show

Listed atTKTS


Full-price tickets

$39 - $129


Quotation Mark

With the arrival of her mighty Lear, Glenda Jackson has, in the span of a year, provided Broadway with twin portraits of once towering figures humbled by age – last year a matriarch in Three Tall Women, now theater’s ultimate patriarch in King Lear, opening tonight at the Cort Theatre. I’ve no doubt she could come back next spring as young Harry Potter if she sets her mind to it. So ferocious, so sinewy is her take on Shakespeare’s lion in winter that those famously spoiled daughters and their menfolk would seem wise to send their regrets and just not show up to any family reunions. Lucky for us, they give as good as they get. Directed by Sam Gold (A Doll’s House, Part 2) , produced by Scott Rudin, Broadway’s latest Lear features a cast that include’s The Affair‘s much missed Ruth Wilson, the note perfect Jayne Houdyshell (like Jackson, playing male) and that doomed libertine from Game of Thrones Pedro Pascal. Given a wickedly sly look by scenic designer Miriam Buether (all that Trump Tower gold can’t be unintentional), this Lear is a knock-out.

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Women are in firm control of the kingdom in Broadway’s Cort Theatre, where a new revival of “King Lear,” starring Glenda Jackson in the title role, opened Thursday. Jackson’s Lear is, naturally, the production’s dominant, galvanizing force: It’s a performance as fiery and ferocious as it is authoritative. But she is surrounded by a cast of fellow female performers — including Jayne Houdyshell as a marvelous Earl of Gloucester, in another gender-switched performance, and Ruth Wilson, doubling as Cordelia and the Fool — who often outshine their male counterparts in director Sam Gold’s largely compelling if uneven production.

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And watching Jackson is a reward in itself. She's by no means a Lear for the ages, and perhaps couldn't be in such a scattershot production. But, whether striding about the court in a tuxedo, wandering the stormy heath in floppy pajamas, or rescued by the French and clad in a chic brown suit they just happened to have in her size, Jackson's tiny, bird-like physique seems to contain supernatural reserves of stamina. Her technique remains impeccable at 82, and the harsh serrated edges of that diamantine voice could draw blood.

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Wheelchair Info

Six ADA compliant viewing locations with companion seating. Transfer optional.


Mezzanine, balcony, and lower lounge reached only by stairs. Seats 1,083.




Valet parking garage: Next door. No vans.

Curb Ramps

SE corner 48th St. & 7th Ave; SW corner of 48th St. & 6th Ave; Driveways on either side of theater.


Double doors in series: 1st set (each 26.5") has one pair of automatic doors from 48th Street to ticket lobby with push-button control; 2nd set (each 26.5", attended by ushers) to Orchestra.

Box Office

Ticket lobby. Counter 43". Accessible pass-through with writing shelf at 32". Assistance available


Womens and Mens: Lower level. Down seventeen steps.

Water Fountain

Rear orchestra, house left. Spout 36".


Ticket lobby. Coin slot 54". Cord Length 29". With TTY and electric outlet.

Assisted Listening System

Reservations are not necessary. Drivers license or ID with printed address required as a deposit. Please call: (212) 582-7678 to reserve in advance.

Visual Assistance


Folding Armrests

Eleven row-end seats with folding armrests.

Directions Subway

F to 47-49 St./ Rockefeller Center

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F to 47-49 St./ Rockefeller Center

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