Shakespeare's women are not shy about donning on a codpiece when necessary, but gender-reversals can bode uneasy misgivings and critical doubt from the outset as to how successful the sex-switcheroo might pan out. The title character of King Lear is not one so easily redressed given the patriarchal overtures and the blustery folly of a man steeped in ego and arrogance.
Having seen both Harry Groener and Dakin Matthews in the preeminent Antaeus production 4 years ago, I was a bit skeptical about this version starring the incomparable Ellen Geer as Lear. I didn't go charging up the hill to see it on opening weekend. It took awhile to mull the idea over. Queen Lear? I'm no purist, yet whenever gender trumps the integrity of a story, let alone a title character, it's been my experience that usually the idea is about provocation rather than insight.
I was wrong.