Wednesday, July 18, 2007

What a Piece of Work is a Man

Hamlet turned out to be one of the best productions that I have seen all year. On reading and watching Hamlet before, I never really made the connection that Hamlet, Laertes, Horatio, Rosencrantz and Guildenstern were all college-age guys. Usually, the actors who play those parts are much older, but for this performance – updated with present day dress, mannerisms and cast members who actually looked the ages they were portraying, really brought that home. Once you realize that, a lot of the actions and emotions of those characters make a lot more sense, and in a way emphasize the tragic tone of the play. Hamlet came off more like a moody young adult who would be rightfully ticked off that his mom married his uncle so quickly after his father’s death, and is understandably stricken when he finds out how that came about.

I didn’t really care for the actor who played Claudius – I didn’t think he was that great – but everyone else was top notch, especially the actor who played Polonius. I also really liked how Ophelia was portrayed – more like a normal 15/16 year old girl – although my friend thought she should have been more “goth-girl”-like. I just thought having her be more “normal” just emphasized how horrible Hamlet was to her . . .

The play runs until the end of the month at the Shakespeare Theater downtown. if you are in the area, I highly recommend that you go see it.

Next week: The DC Fringe Festival – The fun and the funky!

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