Theatre Mirror Reviews - "I Hate Hamlet"

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entire contents copyright 2004 by Tony Annicone

"I Hate Hamlet"

Reviewed by Tony Annicone

Bay Colony Productions current show is Paul Rudnick's comedy, "I Hate Hamlet". Andrew Rally seems to have it all: celebrity and acclaim from his starring role in his hit TV series, a rich, beautiful girlfriend, a devoted agent, the perfect New York apartment and a chance to play Hamlet in Central Park. There are a couple of glitches, Andrew's series has been canceled, his girlfriend is clinging to her virginity with unyielding conviction and he has no desire to play Hamlet. During her initial visit to the apartment, the agent reminisces about her brief romance with John Barrymore many years ago. This prompts the real estate agent to stage a seance to summon his ghost. From the moment Barrymore returns, dressed in high Shakespearean garb, Andrew's life is no longer his own. Add a deal making producer from L.A., spouting the laid back hype of the west coast and offering Andrew a fabulous new TV deal worth millions. Director Dean Calusdian keeps the action flowing with these crazy characters and their antics, making you anxious to find out whether Andrew succeeds in his quest to become a stage actor or whether he sells out to Hollywood.

Bill Stambaugh is splendid as Andrew Rally and he wins the hearts of the audience with this appealing character. His verbal sparring with the others about taking on the role of Hamlet is very funny and the sword play between Andrew and the John Barrymore character is outstanding. Bill usually plays villainous roles and this role shows his comedic side. The biggest scene stealer is Chris Cardoni as John Barrymore. He appears dressed as Hamlet in black tights, tunic and boots. (Dan Kozar supplies all the wonderful costumes for this show.) Chris has many one liners that are hilarious as he struts across the stage as this larger than life character. One of the funniest lines concerns what the actors who play Hamlet stuff their tights with including socks and anything they can find around and sometimes even newspapers find their way there, too.

The other funny characters include Anne O'Loughlin as Diedre, the virginal girlfriend who thinks playing Hamlet makes Andrew very sexy and appealing while Susan Barry plays Lillian, the German agent who has one last dance with Barrymore on opening night, Katherine McDonald is Felicia, the psyhic real estate agent who calls Barrymore back to life while Paul Warner is Gary, the smarmy producer who oozes Hollywood platitudes to try persuade Andrew to do another series for $3 million. So for a fun take on an old Shakespearean tale, be sure to catch, "I Hate Hamlet" at the Orpheum Theater in Foxboro.

"I Hate Hamlet" (2 - 11 April)
BAY COLONY PRODUCTIONS
The Orpheum1 School Street, Foxboro, MA
1- 508-543-ARTS

THE THEATER MIRROR, New England's LIVE Theater Guide

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