Monday, August 23, 2010

Review - Hamlet Shut Up (New York International Fringe Festival)

By Rebecca N. Robertson
Photos by Chris Millar

I love Hamlet! And what I love even more than Shakespeare's tragedy about the moody prince is the plethora of theorizing, psychoanalysis, and heavily conceptualized retellings of the story both on stage and on film. In a similar veins of anti-purist experiments Reduced Shakespeare Company and Baz Luhrmann's "Romeo + Juliet," Hamlet Shut Up seems to be an attempt to both cut to the chase and convey the most pertinent bits of one of the bard's most loved plays to a modern audience.

Using pop culture references in music, film, current events, and modern living (but no words!) our band of players entertains and delights us at a brisk comedic pace. Lines are drawn and crossed and ridiculum embraced. All the high and lows of the story are explored without tears or introspection while nodding along the way to the hypotheses touted by professor types and the players who have tread the boards of dramatized Denmark before from Olivier to Steve Martin's gravedigger scene in "L.A. Story."

This presentation will tickle anyone who is familiar with the play, and might be considered just goofing around by someone who managed to skip reading it in high school or seeing Mel Gibson's turn on the wronged prince. But those of us who love the play will anticipate the next scene and look forward to seeing what twisted pantomimed metaphor Hamlet Shut Up will employ. The show will definitely go there and take on that difficult subtext, translating even Freudian-named angst into adolescent embarrassment à la "American Pie." Judging from the reaction of the audience, the show is a hit. Friday night's performance received a standing ovation and excited laughter filled the air outside the theatre as patrons chatted about what they had just seen.

Hamlet Shut Up
Story by William Shakespeare
Adapted and Directed by Jonas Oppenheim
Set & Lighting Design/Stage Manager: Heatherlynn Gonzales
Costume Design: Wesley Crain
Sound Design: Josh Senick
Fight Choreography: Laura Napoli
Prop Design: Matt Valle
Video Production Ben Rock

Featuring: Kimberly Atkinson, Jay Bogdanowitcsh, Tegan Ashton Cohan, Victor Isaac, Derek Mehn, Laura Napoli, Stephen Simon, Adina Valerio, Matt Valle, Colin Willkie

Venue #5: The First Floor Theatre @ LA MAMA

Sat 14 @ 8:30
Mon 16 @ 2:30
Wed 18 @ 9:45
Fri 20 @ 8:15
Sat 21 @ 2:30

No comments: