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I Hate Hamlet
a Comedy
by Paul Rudnick

COMPANY : Cobb Playhouse and Studio [WEBSITE]
VENUE : Cobb Playhouse and Studio [WEBSITE]
ID# 1265

SHOWING : July 08, 2005 - July 30, 2005



Can a handsome, young soap opera star conquer the Mount Everest of roles by playing Hamlet in New York? Not likely. That is, until he meets the ghost of John Barrymore, who, renowned for his own Hamlet, takes on the unlikely student. You’ll look at the Bard in a whole new light with this hysterical duel over women, art, success, and television. The play opened on Broadway in 1991, and in the years since has seen numerous productions at regional theatres across the country.

Director Mark W. Schroeder
Set Designer Jim Abert
Stage Manager Rebecca Kling
Light/Sound Op. Rebecca Kling
Fight Choreographer Ethan Scott
Andrew R.J. Allen
Lillian Kate Dougherty
Dierdre Kim Jacob
Gary Adam Johnson
John Barrymore Bill Mann
Click to Submit Cast & Crew Info for this production


by PeekAboo
Saturday, July 30, 2005
I was happy to find that a theatre around ATL was putting on "I hate Hamlet". A few years ago before I moved to the city I was in the show myself- as Andrew. Cobb Playhouse seemed pretty nice once I walked in the theatre, but when I walked into the auditorium I was shocked. The seats were old and torn up and the set was very bare and looked thrown together. Do they even have a set designer??? The floor was scruffed up with paint and rips in the floor- i found it very distracting. The audience only had a mere dozen or so people there- do they even have publicity to get an audience to see the show? I hear the theatre has a reputation of not having big audiences for some shows. It amazed me to see they had a 4 week run- I wonder how the cast feels having to run a show that long and not have an audience.
Acworth is a cute place to have the theatre, but maybe they should have selected an area not by a train track! The train went by at least two times and distracted the actors, and I had to really strain to hear dialogue. But...what can you do?
I'll quit my babbling and talk about the show.

Andrew and Felicia enter. I immediately became distracted by Felicia's accent. It was obvious she was trying to do a new-york accent and could not get it right. As a rule of acting- if you can't do an accent right and keep it consistant- Don't do one at all!

Because I played Andrew, I noticed the actor playing Andrew ad-libed a LOT of lines. He would say the lines but add extra, un-needed dialogue throughout the show. I know he was probably "in the moment" and wanted to seem more "in the moment", but the author wrote what he wrote for a purpose...actors just need to make it work.

Dierdre was cute and bubbley but the actess should have had better development for her character and divided her lines and speeches into beats to better understand what was going on in the scene as she seemed confused and just blew through some of her lines.

Barrymore seemed confussed or something onstage. Maybe he was trying to remember his lines? He did well,tho..funny at some moments but blew off some of his jokes- he should be the funniest character in the show- but a lot of the jokes were lost.

The actress playing Lillian did well but sometimes spoke too softly and seemed to lack energy.

The actor playing Gary had a good voice and presence as the character, but he lacked focus. He struck me as a goofy friend and not a Hollywood Director. Some of his jokes were lost too.

PeekAboo by mark
interesting. when and where did you play andrew?

by hello!
Sunday, July 24, 2005
So after weeks of contemplating on whether or not I should review this production I finally have decided to sit down and do it. I did not rate this show because I do not know what I am comparing it too.

Agreeing with everyone else’s review R.J Allen was quite good. Having just stepped off of Great Expectations, R.J took the time to work specific moments in the script and in his character’s history including specific relationships with each and every character. His final monologue was beautifully divided into beats that kept my eyes focused on him.

Another fine performance I felt was given by Kate Dougherty who played Lillian, the agent. She had a well developed past with one of the key characters and I enjoyed watching that come alive on stage.

Bill Mann as Barrymore defiantly held his own. He was nice to watch. He was funny at some moments. Reminded me I was at a community theatre show (which is not a bad thing as we know, for I believe Bill to be one of the better regular actors not seen enough at Cobb Playhouse)

Next we go to the actress playing Dierdre. Sigh* Her vocal quality made me want to….well….laugh. Given the character Dierdre was from the west coast it was appropriate to bring out the valley girlish sounds we so often heard come from Jacob’s mouth but AHHHHH must it go on for an entire two hour show? I also did not believe, due to Jacob’s character choices, that this was a girl who believed in abstinence.

Adam Johnson was…weird. I didn’t really understand him. In all honesty I found myself confused when either him or Jacob’s came on stage.

Minor things- Sword fight was slow, speed it up to look real or don’t use it(perhaps because the space was so crammed the actors were afraid?). Blocking was bad at times, go back to the basics, cheat out and project your voice. Too many blackouts. Need more fadeouts instead (half the time I thought the play was over because of this-could be the scripts fault but…).

Oh Cobb Playhouse, what will you think of next?
by hello!
I forgot to add that while reading the program I noticed the stage manager ran lights and sound. Props to that!!!! Must have been quite a task! The show still ran smoothly.
Great Job, Mark!
by Molly
Tuesday, July 19, 2005
I had heard of this show before, but this is my first opportunity to actually see it staged. It was extremely well done with near perfect casting for all of the parts. R.J. Allen was very appealing as Andrew. His NY acting training was definitely evident. Bill Mann was exceptional as Barrymore and so perfect for the role. He was suave and debonaire, and funny in an understated way. Kim Jacob as Diedre had great stage presence, however, the squeakiness of her line delivery did kind of grate on me at times, but otherwise she was really cute and captured the naivete, youthfulness, and innocence of her character. Everyone else did a wonderful job with their characters as well. The timing and flow of the show was good. It was easy to stay focused on the performance and just truly enjoy the show. Great directing Mark! My only real complaint would be the volume at times. It was a really fun show to see and as it has a couple more weekends, I'd definitely recommend it! [POST A COMMENT REGARDING THIS REVIEW]
Mark's debut: 3.95 out of 5
by localATLreviewer
Monday, July 11, 2005
I understand that this is Mark's directing debut, so I won't be too critical. Overall this show is good. R.J. Allen gave a stellar performance, his expressiveness and delivery were one of the best I've ever seen in local theater. His theatrical study is evident. Bill Mann's performance was also very good, and both Kate Dougherty and Kim Jacob were enjoyable and portrayed their characters passionately. The scenes flowed well, the timing of effects was done well, there were no apparent dead spots or evident dialogue mistakes. The sword fighting choreography was also very well done and believable. Blocking is my biggest complaint. Characters had their backs to the audience repeatedly. I was surprised at this breach of a cardinal rule given Mark's stage experience. Also some dialogue was not loud enough, especially from Loretta Curtis whose lines were often rushed (and the New York accent needs a lot more practice). Adam Johnson, while not dislikeable, was the least believable character, he seemed to be forcing his character and didn't seem natural on stage, he needs to lighten up and embrace the sleaziness of his character. Overall I do think this show is worth seeing, there are some great one-liners and the audience laughed out loud quite a bit, I was sorry to see that the theater was not very full. Nice job, Mark. [POST A COMMENT REGARDING THIS REVIEW]


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