Tuomanen gives him a giddiness, too - this Hamlet's mouth moves several times into a gotcha! oval of kid surprise, at which times the words crash together with the urgency of one teen uncovering the he-said/she-said dirt about another.
Carmen Khan, the Shakespeare Theatre artistic director who staged this Hamlet, may not give us the thoughtful guy, laden with sorrows, who is trying to avenge his father's murder by an uncle who's not only taken the throne of Denmark, but taken Hamlet's mother for his wife. Who wouldn't act out?
But for me, the most satisfying Hamlets are those who think through their moves, whose minds you see turning there on the stage, with the mulling-over words Shakespeare supplied for such mechanics.
To be fair, no challenge to Tuomanen's interpretation would be complete without mentioning that Brits - tough on their Shakespeare productions - have lately liked their Hamlets rash and volatile. A few seasons back they applauded Jude Law's interpretation, not so different from Tuomanen's but with a slightly lower voice; when Law delivered that portrayal on Broadway, Americans were less enthusiastic.
So call me an American bore on Hamlet - but don't call me bored with the Philadelphia Shakespeare production, which moves nicely and has a particularly fine set of actors - Ames Adamson and Amanda Grove - playing the roles of Hamlet's uncle and mom with regal panache.
Victoria Rose Bonito is pathetic as Ophelia (that's a compliment), John Little is properly authoritarian as her dad, Polonius, and Jason Greenfield is genuine as Laertes, who becomes Hamlet's enemy. The production plays to mood-setting interludes of chords on a stage with a little reflecting pool. It may not reflect the sort of Hamlet that fulfills me, but Tuomanen does carry her interpretation solidly through the play and knows the sort of Hamlet she's after.
Through May 14 at Philadelphia Shakespeare Theatre, 2111 Sansom St. Tickets: $25-$35. Information: 215-496-8001 or www.phillyshakespeare.org.
Hamlet will run in repertory with As You Like It when that play opens April 7.
Contact staff writer Howard Shapiro at 215-854-5727 or email@example.com. Read his recent work at http://go.philly.com/howardshapiro.