As with the traditional play, Lear is an aging ruler who turns over his kingdom to his daughters, then finds himself without power or authority, betrayed, and facing a merciless existence, nursing self-inflicted wounds. The director is Sam Mendes, who won an Academy Award for the film American Beauty and theatrical fame by re-staging musicals including Cabaret, Oliver, Company and Gypsy with a noticeably darker ambiance. Mendes placed King Lear in modern dress, set in a totalitarian country. Tackling Lear is Simon Russell Beale, considered by some the finest actor of his generation, whose Hamlet in 2004 was widely acclaimed.
7:15 p.m. May 19, 12:30 p.m. May 24. Sundance Cinemas, 510 Texas. For information, call 713-223-3456 or visit sundancecinemas.com. $20.
Mon., May 19, 7:15 p.m.; Sat., May 24, 12:30 p.m., 2014