Tag: Shakespeare in the Park

Review: Hamlet (Midsommer Flight)

Joe Sergio and Samual Cheeseman star as Laertes and Hamlet in Hamlet,  Midsommer (ZW)            

         

 

Hamlet

Written by William Shakespeare 
at various city parks (see schedule)
thru Aug 27  |  tix: FREE  |  more info   
       
     

July 10, 2017 | 0 Comments More

Review: Romeo and Juliet (Muse of Fire Theatre)

Heather Chrisler and Benjamin Ponce star as Juliet and Romeo in Muse of Fire Theatre's "Romeo and Juliet" by William Shakeseare, directed by Jemma Alix Levy. (photo credit: Teresa Foote)     
       
      
Romeo and Juliet

Written by William Shakespeare 
Directed by Jemma Alix Levy
at Ingraham Park, Evanston (map)
thru Sept 7  |  tickets: FREE   |  more info 

     
         
                   Read review
     

August 12, 2014 | 0 Comments More

Review: A Midsummer Night’s Dream (Chicago Shakespeare Theater)

Nathan M. Hosner and Lanise Antoine Shelley star in Chicago Shakespeare Theater's "A Midsummer Night's Dream" by William Shakespeare, directed by David H. Bell. (photo credit: Chuck Osgood)        
      
   
A Midsummer Night’s Dream

Written by William Shakespeare  
Directed by David H. Bell 
at various Chicago parks (map and schedule)
thru Aug 17  |  tickets: FREE   |  more info 
     
         
                   Read review
     

August 6, 2014 | 0 Comments More

REVIEW: I Hate Hamlet (Big Noise Theatre)

Barrymore’s ghost walks through ‘I Hate Hamlet’

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Big Noise Theatre Company presents:

I Hate Hamlet

By Paul Rudnick
Directed by
Craig Gustafson
at
Prairie Lakes Theater, Des Plaines
Through Feb. 7 (ticket info)

Reviewed by Leah A. Zeldes

Fluffy as cotton candy, Paul Rudnick‘s 1991 screwball comedy, I Hate Hamlet, numbers among those navel-gazing theatrical-themed plays that theater people always find enchanting. In this case, they’re right: Full of witty one-liners and ridiculous absurdities, this is a very silly, but very funny play.

hamlet14 Inspired when Rudnick lived in a New York apartment that had been home to famed actor John Barrymore (1882–1942), the comedy, currently in production by Big Noise Theatre in Des Plaines, follows up-and-coming TV-star Andrew Rally (the boyishly handsome Mark Mocarski), who moves to New York from L.A. when his hit medical series is cancelled. His elderly agent (Aimee Kennedy) has convinced him to give the stage a try, and although he remains ambivalent about both his desire and his ability to play the role, he’s been cast as Hamlet at Shakespeare in the Park.

Meanwhile, his real-estate broker, Felicia (Terre Virgilio), who sidelines as a medium, sells him the late Barrymore’s New York digs, with — you guessed it — the ghost of the stage and screen legend — dressed for his most famous role — in residence. Although the living Barrymore deserted the Shakespearean stage for Hollywood, his shade (Rob Nowak) is determined to turn the diffident Andrew into an accomplished Hamlet.

That’s not the absurd part.

Andrew’s ditzy, deeply romantic girlfriend, Deirdre (Julie Bayer), is thrilled that he’s playing the sweet Danish prince, giving him hope that she’ll end their long celibacy. A 29-year-old virgin, Deirdre’s been putting off the infatuated and importunate Andrew’s propositions and proposals for years, waiting to feel that the time and the man are perfect. On the other hand, Andrew’s pal Gary (Aaron G. Stash), a fast-talking, quintessential hyphenated Hollywood writer-director-producer, is trying to lure the actor back to L.A. with a high-paying contract for the pilot of a lame new sitcom.

If you can believe in a chastely monogamous TV actor who turns down lucrative roles, you might as well believe in ghosts.

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As the ghost, Nowak brings the swashbuckling Barrymore to booming life. By far the strongest actor in this uneven production, Nowak all but carries the show, overcoming an awful wig, legs that cry out for padded tights and the faltering delivery of castmates. Bayer, suitably flaky as Deirdre, and Stash, expansive and frenetic as the big-talking Gary, also turn in respectable performances.

Director Craig Gustafson has not been able to coax fast-paced dialog from his cast, and poor timing often puts a drag on what ought to be glib exchanges, making some of Andrew’s self-criticisms ring painfully true. Still, with Nowak’s Barrymore and colorful touches such as Teresa Kerrigan‘s flamboyant costuming of Felicia, this good-hearted production captures the overall silliness of the script.

Rating: ★★

 

January 17, 2010 | 3 Comments More