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Hamlet

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NEWS
October 26, 1987 | By Douglas J. Keating, Inquirer Staff Writer
Entering the theater, playgoers are assaulted by deafeningly loud, heavily percussive primitive music. Seated, they look out at a playing area of light brown sand, in which are set large rocks like Druid stones, and up at a canopy of small lights shining against the dark ceiling. Don't get up and leave. This is the People's Light and Theater Company; the play about to begin is Hamlet, and here come the performers. Dressed in costumes of rough cloth, leather and simulated animal skins, they step barefoot on the sand.
NEWS
April 9, 2009 | By Howard Shapiro INQUIRER STAFF WRITER
Yes, something is rotten in the state of Denmark, but something is also remarkable: Lantern Theater's electrifying production of Hamlet, which opened Tuesday night on a sparse Center City stage that could not seem fuller, and with a cast that could not be finer. William Shakespeare wrote his tragedy almost 410 years ago, but given this smooth, dynamic staging by Lantern's artistic director, Charles McMahon, and this facile interpretation, the Bard could have spun off his longest play while taking a break from bangers and mash just this year.
NEWS
June 18, 2008 | By Toby Zinman FOR THE INQUIRER
Shakespeare in the Park works its magic again. The play begins while it's still daylight, and when Marcellus, seeing the ghost of the King, cries out to Horatio, "Look, where it comes again!" everyone turned to look. This is the kind of theatrical illusion that only happens outdoors. A moment of foolish-feeling wonder - nobody's behind us, of course - and Hamlet once again has captured us. This Dane is not melancholy, intellectual or introverted; Michael Stuhlbarg is a wildly excitable, intensely self-infuriated man, full of nervous energy, whose "antic disposition" often seems quite genuinely nuts as he howls and rages and nearly rapes his mother.
NEWS
July 14, 1992 | by Nels Nelson, Daily News Theater Critic
The helicopter made several wide sweeps around Chestnut Hill-Mount Airy in the Saturday twilight. Its route took it directly over the campus of Spring Garden College, where opening night of the al fresco Philadelphia Shakespeare in the Park production of "Hamlet" was in progress, the roar of its engine effectively wiping out portions of the Act 1 dialogue. Was this "Hamlet" or was it "Miss Saigon"? In any case, the grandstanding helicopter pilot, thoughtless fellow that he was, was very nearly the only mote I could detect in the eye of this "Hamlet," a skillfully paced and impressively conceived reading.
ENTERTAINMENT
May 1, 1999 | By Douglas J. Keating, INQUIRER THEATER CRITIC
With its 75th season coming to a close, the Hedgerow Theatre is just now getting around to presenting Hamlet. When the theater was nationally known for its classical repertory, it might have been in a position to mount a more-accomplished initial production of Shakespeare's great tragedy. However, this version, fielding the usual Hedgerow mix of semiprofessional, aspiring and amateur actors, is certainly a competent one. With the well-spoken Paul Kuhn in the title role, this is a Hamlet to listen to closely.
ENTERTAINMENT
July 25, 1991 | Inquirer staff reviews and synopses, compiled by Christopher Cornell
A fierce version of one of the Bard's great tragedies tops this week's list of new videos. It's joined by a lackluster effort from Woody Allen and a thriller that offers more style than substance. HAMLET 1/2 (1991) (Warner) $92.99. 135 minutes. Mel Gibson is a splendid Hamlet - virile, forceful and filled with more rage than indecision. Director Franco Zeffirelli's cuts will outrage purists, but they reduce the text to its primal essence in this swift-moving reading. An A-list cast of Shakespeare veterans joins, but by no means eclipses, Gibson.
ENTERTAINMENT
April 19, 1996 | By Desmond Ryan, INQUIRER MOVIE CRITIC
When Tom Stoppard directed the screen version of Rosencrantz and Guildenstern Are Dead five years ago, he didn't simply resurrect the now-classic play that launched his career. He reinvented it. Rosencrantz and Guildenstern are two minor characters in Hamlet who became Stoppard's major stage work in the '60s. For the film, Stoppard kept the dazzling verbal pyrotechnics but transformed the pair from passive and confused observers into active Everymen who dash around Elsinore in a futile effort to find out what's really going on. The movie plays as a cosmic joke to which there is no punchline.
NEWS
February 7, 1991 | By William B. Collins, Inquirer Theater Critic
It wasn't until the crazy Ophelia came on singing "Anything Goes" that I wavered in my approval of what the Arden Theater Company has done to Hamlet. By that time, I was ready for just about anything that the tabloid production in St. Stephen's Alley might throw at me. I really have nothing against pop interpolations in Shakespeare provided they say to a contemporary audience what the playwright himself might have written if he were around now. And Ophelia's mad scene is admittedly one of the more impossibly dippy sequences ever written straight by anyone.
NEWS
October 29, 1987 | By William B. Collins, Inquirer Theater Critic
Two of the most enjoyable surprises a theatergoer could wish for are just a short drive apart on Connecticut's Interstate 91. At the Hartford Stage Company, Richard Thomas continues his flight from The Waltons with an arresting Hamlet in a modern-dress production of the Shakespearean drama. At the Long Wharf Theater, 45 minutes away in New Haven, playwright Richard Dresser contends for the big time with The Downside, a satirical comedy about executive suite treachery. The two productions were stops on a weekend press tour designed to establish Connecticut as a magnet for theatergoers looking for stimulation and travel.
NEWS
June 26, 2011 | By George Jahn, Associated Press
HALLSTATT, Austria - It's a scenic jewel, a hamlet of hill-hugging chalets, elegant church spires, and ancient inns all reflected in the deep still waters of an Alpine lake. Hallstatt's beauty has earned it a listing as a UNESCO World Heritage site, but some villagers are less happy about a more recent distinction: plans to copy their hamlet in China. After taking photos and collecting other data on the village while mingling with the tourists, a Chinese firm has started to rebuild much of Hallstatt in faraway Guangdong province, a project that residents here see with mixed emotions.
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ENTERTAINMENT
June 23, 2015 | By Jim Rutter, For The Inquirer
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)
ENTERTAINMENT
May 30, 2015 | By Toby Zinman, For The Inquirer
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.
ENTERTAINMENT
April 4, 2015 | By Toby Zinman, For The Inquirer
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.
ENTERTAINMENT
April 1, 2015 | By A.D. Amorosi, For The Inquirer
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.
NEWS
November 24, 2014 | By Chris Hepp, Inquirer Staff Writer
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.
ENTERTAINMENT
September 10, 2014 | By Toby Zinman, For The Inquirer
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.
ENTERTAINMENT
July 17, 2014 | By Jim Rutter, For The Inquirer
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.
ENTERTAINMENT
October 16, 2013 | By Jim Rutter, For The Inquirer
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.
NEWS
July 14, 2013 | By David Patrick Stearns, INQUIRER CULTURAL CRITIC
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.
NEWS
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.
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