June 23, 2015 |
The relationship between Los Angeles television and New York theater has changed since Paul Rudnick wrote I Hate Hamlet in 1991. Gone are the days when Rudnick's jokes about Shakespeare as a retreat for washed-up TV and movie actors - "some English guy who can't get a series" - were accurate. However, Montgomery Theater's zany production proves that the current success and quality of cable TV have not made a dent in the hilarity of Rudnick's bizarre plot. In New York, famous young TV actor Andrew Rally (Jon Mulhearn)
May 30, 2015 |
Tom Stoppard's brilliant 1966 play Rosencrantz and Guildenstern Are Dead , now in a lively production at the Wilma Theater, takes its title from the last scene in Hamlet when a messenger arrives to report that Rosencrantz and Guildenstern, two friends of the Prince of Denmark, are dead. In Shakespeare's play, this news doesn't move us much - they are, after all, two smarmy, not-too-bright guys sent to spy on Hamlet. We have larger, tragic deaths to deal with - like everybody else's.
April 4, 2015 |
Blanka Zizka has directed a much-anticipated Hamlet at the Wilma Theater, and central to the advance buzz is having Zainab Jah, a petite black African woman, in the title role. So was the idea that Hamlet is essentially human, and thus postrace and postgender? Maybe. But if you want to do a high-concept production, you actually have to have a concept and not just a bunch of weird stylistic choices. As it is, the stylistic choices - sometimes puzzling, sometimes dazzling - dominate the drama and often overwhelm the poetry, especially since some of the cast speaks very slowly, pausing at the end of lines, making little attempt at creating human speech.
April 1, 2015 |
That it should come to this! But two months dead: nay, not so much, not two: So excellent a king; that was, to this, Hyperion to a satyr; so loving to my mother That he might not beteem the winds of heaven Visit her face too roughly. Heaven and earth! Must I remember? Why, she would hang on him, As if increase of appetite had grown By what it fed on: and yet, within a month - Let me not think on't - Frailty, thy name is woman! When it comes to women and Hamlet - Shakespeare's take on dead patriarchs, lustful queens, and avenging scions - the Bard isn't exactly kind.
November 24, 2014 |
Philadelphia City Council President Darrell L. Clarke knows the time to make a decision is nigh. Some have suggested that he could wait as long as February. He shakes his head vigorously when told that. "No, that would not be fair," he said. "That would be a little selfish. You have to tell people something. " Now, perhaps? He shakes his head again. "I have to say one way or another for a lot of reasons, and that point is coming soon," he said. "Real soon. " Some day in the near future, then, Clarke will end the speculation and announce whether he intends to run for mayor of Philadelphia.
September 10, 2014 |
Steve Jobs said that the "i" in all the Apple products' names stood for "Internet, individual, instruct, inform, inspire. " And although the products are patented, the use of "i" is not, and Philly Shakes' solo show, iHamlet , an adaptation by Robin Malan, seems to mean the "i" literally as "I" since the show is made up of Hamlet's lines extracted from the play and strung together. Hamlet as narcissist. And a female narcissist to boot. The set is a chair and gigantic mirror into which Melissa Dunphy gazes.
July 17, 2014 |
WILMINGTON – Griffin Stanton-Ameisen is not a great Hamlet. And that's a very good thing for Delaware Shakespeare Festival's fantastic production of Shakespeare's tragedy. A great Hamlet would involve the director or actor trying to put a distinctive stamp (jester, drug addict), attribute (incestuous, impotent), or interpretation (Oedipal, political, feminist, whatever) on the role. Usually this attempt would include a celebrity (Ian McKellen, Jude Law, David Tennant). Stanton-Ameisen uses clear intonation and vivid body language to paint a haunting, natural, valid response to a father's sudden death, a mother's hasty marriage to a far inferior suitor, and a supernatural mandate to take revenge on a usurper of the throne.
October 16, 2013 |
Four people die violently in front of you. Their deaths should cause some emotional response, right? Not in Quintessence Theatre Group's staging of Hamlet , where director Alexander Burns places a dehumanizing stamp on Shakespeare's tragedy. He sets the action in a courtyard-style setup, familiar in Shakespeare's time; the opening scene puts the players around a long table, elevated on a platform between two raised seating areas. Hamlet (Josh Carpenter) rests his feet on the table.
July 14, 2013 |
The Complete Works of William Shakespeare (Abridged) , the ultra-light theatrical romp that compacts the great playwright's lifetime output in ways that make CliffsNotes look expansive, is actually tried-and-true vaudeville. It's the classic clash between high and low art - just add some manic frat-house energy, and laughs are inevitable. But that doesn't mean you automatically have a show. That's why the three-member Commonwealth Classic Theatre cast, starting a run of 11 free performances through July 27 at various regional venues, must have felt shot out of a cannon Thursday at the Morris Arboretum.
June 13, 2013
Harry Lewis, 93, founder of the Hamburger Hamlet chain, whose regular customers included Ronald Reagan and Elizabeth Taylor, died Sunday at a convalescent home in Beverly Hills. Mr. Lewis was an actor who appeared in the 1948 movie Key Largo before founding Hamburger Hamlet chain in 1950 with his future wife, Marilyn. The restaurants were decorated with movie memorabilia and offered customized hamburgers long before the idea became trendy. Mr. Lewis' son, Adam, told the Los Angeles Times that his father was compulsively driven by attention to detail and would cook 30 hamburgers at once.