Now on stage at the Music Theatre of Connecticut MainStage, Fairfield County’s professional award is t the very funny comedy, I Hate Hamlet by Paul Rudnick. The production had the audience laughing during the entire performance.
The play involves Andrew Rally, a young and successful television star who has ended a run on his network show and is looking for work. His agent, Lillian convinces him to move to New York City and take on the role of Hamlet in Shakespeare in the Park. Andrew decides to make the move though he is overwhelmed with doubt that he can make the jump from tv drama actor to Shakespeare. His realtor Felicia, shows him an old apartment where the famous actor John Barrymore once lived. Felicia thinks the apartment is perfect as Barrymore himself once played Hamlet.
Andrew has a problem. He does not like the apartment , he misses Los Angeles and he hates Hamlet! What is an out of work television actor to do? With the help of the realtor (who claims to be a psychic), his girlfriend Deidre (who loves Shakespeare) and the agent (who had a brief affair with Barrymore), a séance is performed in the apartment to contact the spirit of John Barrymore. The madcap comedy really starts to roll as the ghost of Barrymore, dressed as Hamlet appears.
Though he doubts he can actually perform as Hamlet, the ghost of Barrymore who partakes of champagne and other spirits, challenges Andrew to a sword fight in the apartment. The fight scenes arranged by Dan O’Driscoll who also plays Barrymore are quite impressive and realistic and still the scene is quite funny. More humor roles in as Gary, a producer from L.A. enters in an attempt to lure Andrew away from his new role with promises of a new television series and a lucrative contract. His over the top performance had the audience in stitches. Torn in two directions, what will Andrew do?
The Actors Equity cast is hilarious and the comedic timing is spot on. Directed by Kevin Conners who delivers yet another wonderful production to the MTC stage.
I Hate Hamlet will run three weekends from February 3rd – 19th, 2023 with performances on Fridays & Saturday at 8pm and Saturdays & Sundays at 2pm. I Hate Hamlet stars Constantine Pappas (Nat’l Tour- Phantom of the Opera, Off B’wayPenelope) as Andrew, Dan O’Driscoll (Off B’way- The Pirates of Penzance, Babes in Toyland) as John Barrymore, Elena Ramos Pascullo (Florida Studio Theatre- Something Rotten, MTC- The Buddy Holly Story) as Deirdre, Liliane Klein (Nat’l Tour- Scrooge, Titanic) as Felicia, Robert Anthony Jones (B’way- Finding Neverland, Nat’l Tour- Phantom of the Opera) as Gary, and Jo Anne Parady (Players Club- The Life of Shakespeare, Stratford Shakespeare Festival- Othello) as Lillian.
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