| OPENING NIGHT | Ermengildo Zegna Parfums was the official sponsor for an amazing opening night of Shakespeare in the Park’s King Lear, starring John Lithgow and Annette Benning. | PHOTOGRAPHY | by Simon Luethi/Getty Images
One of my favorite lines in Shakespeare’s King Lear comes towards the end of Act 4, when the Earl of Gloucester declares, “The king is mad.” While having no relation to David Simon’s The Wire—which has been referred to as Dickensian, not Shakespearean—when Clarke Peters (fans of The Wire will remember him as Detective Lester Freaman) delivered that line at the opening night of Shakespeare in the Park’s King Lear, I couldn’t help but think of Omar Little’s famous assertion: “Come at the king, you best not miss.”
| ZEGNA ESSENZE COLLECTION | One of Zegna’s six signature fragrances for men on display at the cast party. | PHOTOGRAPHY | by Michael Loccisano/Getty Images
Having never seen a Shakespeare play before, I have to admit that I was beyond excited when Zegna Parfums (remember the video we made for their Italian Bergamot fragrance?) invited me to attend the opening night performance of King Lear. There’d already been a lot of buzz around this production, namely in the form of this tweet from Ira Glass. And, really, what better way to have my first Shakespeare experience than at Shakespeare in the Park?
Even though I am in the arts myself, with live performance being the medium through which I’m able to communicate best with people, I am still always amazed at the power live performances can wield. This is especially true when you’re talking about artistry of the highest level, which was on display in spades that night.
Regular readers know that I love to find parallels between style and music. But it’s true that with any art or discipline that could be considered a craft—theater, clothing design, perfumer—you’ll always find some kind of thread or philosophy or devotion that binds the artists together. One of the reasons I loved collaborating with Zegna a few months ago was because I recognized that they were a brand that valued these same sorts of things as well.
| TAKE A BOW | John Lithgow and the cast of King Lear at the opening night of The Public Theater’s free Shakespeare in the Park production at the Delacorte Theater on Tuesday, August 5. | PHOTOGRAPHY | by Simon Luethi/Getty Images
Thanks for reading.
He Spoke Style