Vienna Theatre Company I Hate HamletBy Laura & Mike Clark • Jan 16th, 2007 • Category: Reviews
Listen to our review of Vienna Theatre Company’s production of I Hate Hamlet [MP3 5:51 1.7MB].
Mike: I Hate Hamlet is a comedy written by Paul Rudnick. It’s the story of a washed up tv actor named Andrew Rally. His tv show has just been cancelled so he moves back to New York to do of all things, Shakespeare in the Park. He’s got the juicy role of Hamlet and the apartment that the realtor has found was owned by none other than by the legendary John Barrymore. Unfortunately he’s a little scared to do the role of Hamlet since it’s a tough role. It’s Shakespeare. He doesn’t understand it. Andrew decides he needs some help with the role of Hamlet. So who should help him? None other than the ghost of John Barrymore, who is still living in the apartment.
Laura: I liked this show. I liked the pace of it. I liked the rhythm. Everybody seemed comfortable working together. The fight scene was really good.
Mike: I Hate Hamlet was an enjoyable show. The set really added a lot to the performance. There was such detail that I’m not going to tell you about because you really do need to see it. This is one of the few times we’ve seen a set design get applause when the curtain opened. That’s just a treat.
Laura: The role of Andrew Rally, the actor coming to New York to do Shakeseare in the Park for the Summer was played by Andy Izquierdo. He did a great job. I liked his timing and the pace of the show. I really liked the swordfight scene. I’d love to know how they practiced catching the sword by the hilt. I was reading in the director’s notes about the paramedics that seemed to come to the theatre often. That was probably terrifying, but I really liked that fight scene. Andy has such an energy about him.
Mike: John Barrymore is played by Jeff Breslow. Jeff brought a formal presence, a very debonaire presence to the stage in the role of Barrymore. I really liked that. He was very proper. But he had this little twinkle in his eyes when he was talking about the girls and the drinking. He was just enjoying himself.
Laura: Andrew’s real estate broker, Felicia Dantine, was played by Jessie Roberts. I really liked her. She was very flamboyant without being over the top about it. She had a good scene at the end between her and Andrew’s Hollywood director when she announced their future plans to gether. I enjoyed their dialogue and I thought they were very comfortable with each other.
Mike: Andrew’s girlfriend, Deidre McDavey, was played by Sarah Jackson. She was very believable as the New York actress trying to get her big break. She also played the role as very flighty. For example, was distracted by the flowing sleeves of her costume that she was going to be wearing in Hamlet. She spent a good three minutes just twirling around on the stage being distracted by how they fluttered around her as she rotated around.
Laura: Andrew’s New York agent Lillian Troy, was played by Harriet Pilger. She had a very stately air about her. She had an accent that she kept through out the performance that really impressed me. She was an older woman and had this air that she has seen and experience life to the fullest.
Mike: And then Andrew’s director from Los Angeles, Gary Peter Lefkowitz, was played by Tom Flat. He played the role as a stereotypical Hollywood director. Kind of aloof, yet very concerned about Andrew just because it would effect him personally.
Laura: I really liked the set for I Hate Hamlet. The set designer was Rich Klare. It was actually two sets, although none of the furniture moved. The first act everything was covered up so you had Andy’s orange couch and you had folding chairs for a table area. The second act came out and everything was uncovered and it really looked good.
Mike: We don’t want to tell too much about the set because the surprise in the second act is astonishing and you just need to see it to be surprised by it. It got a round of applause. It was really nicely done.
Mike: There was a really nice special effect done in the first act. I’m not going to say exactly what it was because you need to be surprised by it. But it was very nicely executed.
Laura: We saw I Hate Hamlet twice this week. Once in Maryland at Port Tobacco Players and last night at the Vienna Theatre Company. It was really interesting because it was two totally different productions. The pace was different. The swordfight scene was different. So it really was enjoyable because it gave you a different perspective on the two performances.
Mike: It really is amazing how much the limitations and the abilties of a group bring to a show. Port Tobacco Players is a very capable group. Vienna Theatre is a very capable group. The scripts were the same. The sets were very different. But neither of them were wrong. There were different strengths in each show. I think all in all both of these shows were really good. If you have the ability I would suggest you go see both shows. Make a weekend of it, go up to Vienna and then go down to Port Tobacco Players in La Plata Maryland. I think you’ll have a good time comparing and contrasting the two different styles of the two different I Hate Hamlets.
Laura: I Hate Hamlet is playing Fridays and Saturdays at 8 PM with a matinee on Sunday 21st at 2 PM through January the 27th at the Vienna Theatre Company in Vienna Virginia.
Mike: If you’ve seen this show, or the one down in La Plata, we encourage you to leave comments about it at ShowBizRadio.net.
Laura: We’d also like to invite you to join our mailing list so that you can keep updated on information in the Virginia DC metro region.
Mike: And now, on with the show.
This article can be linked to as: http://washingtondc.showbizradio.com/goto/1839.
Laura & Mike Clark started ShowBizRadio in August 2005 because they love live theater. They each have both performed in and worked behind the scenes in DC area productions, as well as earned a Career Studies Certificate in Theater from Northern Virginia Community College. Mike & Laura are each members of the American Theatre Critics Association, and Mike is a member of the Online News Association.