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Paul Sorvino to Star in, Adapt NYC Premiere of LEAR for Shrunken Shakespeare's 2014 Gala, 4/21

Paul Sorvino to Star in, Adapt NYC Premiere of LEAR for Shrunken Shakespeare's 2014 Gala, 4/21

Shrunken Shakespeare Company's 2014 Fundraiser Gala will be hosting the New York City premiere of "Lear" adapted by and starring Paul Sorvino. This cut of William Shakespeare's "King Lear" will be presented as a staged reading, produced by SSC in collaboration with director and producer Joe Paradise. In addition to Sorvino and Paradise, actor/comedian Wayne Powers, Michael Sorvino, and Tyler Hollinger of The Public Theatre and The Mint, will also be taking part in "Lear." Complete casting is to be announced. The Gala will take place on Monday, April 21 at 7:30pm, at The Barrow Group located at 312 W. 36th Street, 3rd Floor.

Sorvino has appeared in 110 films, and a variety of TV and theatrical productions over the last four decades. In 1974, he played Gloucester in a notable production of "King Lear" alongside James Earl Jones and Raul Julia for The New York Shakespeare Festival. Other notable performances include Paul Cicero in Martin Scorsese's "Goodfellas" (1990) alongside Robert De Niro, Joe Pesci, Lorraine Bracco and Ray Liotta, Henry Kissinger in Oliver Stone's "Nixon" (1995), and Fulgencio Capulet in Baz Luhrmann's "Romeo + Juliet " in 1996, starring Leonardo DiCaprio and Claire Danes.

Paradise has directed, taught and coached nine Academy Award, Tony and Emmy winning or nominated actors. He has directed four plays for The Actors Studio, including "One Day Wonder" with James Gandolfini and "Death of a Salesman" starring Rudy Bond. Paradise also has been awarded the "Distinguished Achievement in Directing" and an LA Drama Critic Award nomination for Best Director for his direction of "Trilogy Blue".

This contemporary staging of Shakespeare's greatest tragedy revamps a tale of a king who decides to divide his kingdom between three daughters. Lear, however, is blinded by pride and to the true intentions of those around him. His kingdom begins to drown in a sea of deceit and trepidation. The consequences of his kingdom's downward spiral reveal the worst and best parts of human nature itself. A full-length feature of Sorvino's adaptation, in which he plays the title role, begins filming this year.

The production team includes co-producing artistic directors Yvonne Cone and Jennifer Martina, production manager Christian LeMay, stage manager Jenna Bauman, lighting designer Kayla Gebhardt, and company manager Amanda Baumler.

Ticket holders will enjoy the exclusive staged reading presentation and post show Q&A with Paul Sorvino, Artistic Directors Yvonne Cone and Jennifer Martina, and the cast at The Barrow Group Theatre at 312 W. 36th St. 3rd floor at 7:30PM. There will be a step and repeat from 7PM-7:30PM, and there will be a catered cocktail reception with the cast and members of SSC following the show. Tickets for the event are $100 each and can be purchased through SSC's website at www.shrunkenshakespeare.com. All proceeds will go towards SSC's 2014-2015 season.

Shrunken Shakepeare Company's mission is to create ensemble-driven classical theatre that incorporates various types of performance. Once staged, you will see them in a way that you have never experienced before. Our goal is to stay true to the text, all while making it relatable to a younger, more modern audience. We tailor every play to fit the space in which it is performed. This means, each play chosen is condensed to uniquely fit each venue. Thus, the site becomes the set. We aim to create a relationship between both the actor and the audience, resulting in both walking away with a profound understanding of each play and an exciting new perspective of what classical theatre means today. To learn more about SSC, visit www.shrunkenshakespeare.com.

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