Theatergoers looking for lighter summer fare should enjoy the dramatic comedy I Hate Hamlet, to be presented by Town Players of Newtown. The production opens Friday, June 27, at The Little Theatre, 18 Orchard Hill Road.
In this work by Paul Rudnick, up-and-coming television star Andrew Rally has been offered the part of Hamlet as part of the Shakespeare in the Park series and rents a fabulous gothic apartment in New York City. Unfortunately, Andrew is not thrilled with the idea of spouting classic lines written by The Bard. In fact, he hates Hamlet.
Adding to his quandary is the presence of John Barrymore’s ghost, who arrives at the apartment (his former home) in full Hamlet regalia — and fully inebriated — with the sole intent of convincing young Andrew to take on the iconic role.
The contrast between the two actors — the towering, dissipated Barrymore, whose Hamlet was the greatest of his time, and Andrew Rally, a hot young TV star — leads to a hilariously funny verbal duel over art, women, duty, success, television and even the apartment they occupy.
Should Andrew play Hamlet, whom his virginal girlfriend Deirdre loves, or should he take the money and run by starring in a television pilot being proffered by his West Coast pal Gary?
The Village Voice said I Hate Hamlet is “fast-mouthed and funny ... It has the old-fashioned Broadway virtues of brightness without pretensions and sentimentality without morals.”
The Town Players production is being directed by Ruth Anne Baumgartner. It features Stephen Saxton, Rob Pawlikowski, Jordan Rose Lee, Linda Gilmore, Ward Whipple, and Marguerite Foster.
The production crew includes producer Pam Meister Jones, stage manager Samantha Wall, fight choreographer Geoffrey Gilbert, dance choreographer Leslie Kerr, costuming assistant Mary Kulcsar, and set designer Alexander Kulcsar.
The production will run June 27-July 20, with performances on Fridays and Saturdays at 8 pm, and 2 pm matinees on Sundays, June 29, July 13 and July 20.
There are no performances the weekend of July 4-6.
Tickets are $20 for evening shows, $15 for matinee performances.
Black Box Performances
In addition to the upcoming production of I Hate Hamlet, Town Players announced on June 21 a special Black Box Performance of Fully Committed that will open August 1.
For those who enjoy the hilarity of fast-paced farces, this show will be a good fit.
Todd Santa Maria will play over 40 wildly diverse characters while sharing a day in the life of Sam Peliczowski, an out-of-work actor who takes calls on the red-hot reservation line at Manhattan’s top restaurant.
Coercion, threats, bribes and histrionics are all part of his day, as Sam encounters a cast of desperate callers will stop at nothing in their quest to land a prime reservation or the right table. Amidst the barrage, Sam has his own issues — his recently widowed dad wants him home for Christmas and he’s up for a choice part at Lincoln Center.
While juggling scheming socialites, name-dropping wannabes, fickle celebrities and egomaniacal bosses, can Sam still manage to look out for himself?
Fully Committed is being directed by David Bass. It will be a limited-run black box production, with just four performances: Fridays and Saturdays, August 1-9. Curtain is 8 pm each night.
Tickets for this special event are $15 (free for Town Players members).
Reservations for either production may be made by calling the box office at 203-270-9144 or by sending an email to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Town Players of Newtown performances are at The Little Theatre, at 18 Orchard Hill.