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I Hate Hamlet

a Comedy
CATEGORY : COMEDY
by Paul Rudnick

COMPANY : Georgia Ensemble Theatre [WEBSITE]
VENUE : Georgia Ensemble Theatre and Conservatory [WEBSITE]
ID# 657

SHOWING : January 02, 2003 - January 19, 2003

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PRODUCTION DESCRIPTION

The witty and hilarious comedy, I Hate Hamlet by Paul Rudnick (Jeffrey and In and Out), runs January 2nd through the 19th, 2003. 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.


CAST & CREW LIST
Ghost of John Barrymore James Donadio
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REVIEWS

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a fine evening of theater
by Okely Dokely
Friday, January 17, 2003
4.0
I caught GET's "I Hate Hamlet" last night front row, dead center. A plot synopsis is listed, so I won't bother with that. Anyway, I ran a theater in my basement about 8 years ago. I remember looking through the Dramatists Play Service catalogue with my best friend and co-owner of our little playhouse, and slating IHH for what we had hoped to be our next season. Neither of us had ever seen or read the show, but we picked it because the plot summary sounded funny. It turned out we didn't get to do any of our planned shows, and the basement theater folded after having only put on one production, which had a cast of 3. This means that IHH remained unseen - by me, at least - until last night. I did not go to Dunwoody Stage Door Players' staging of this show last fall, and I am certainly kicking myself in the ass for it now.

I haven't been to Georgia Ensemble in a while, and I am now reminded of how much I miss it, and how I saw a show there (The Fantasticks) which would become my favorite musical ever. Needless to say, I will be back for To Kill a Mockingbird, their next mainstage show. I like the "repertory-ness" of the theater, and how even though I've never met most of the regulars, I have gained a sense of pleasant familiarity with them. They are the reliable baseball glove that has seen me through many a successful season, and every show I go see, they are like old friends that I want to catch up with. I even have a favorite among them, and that favorite is James Donadio, who plays John Barrymore. While Donadio was a worthy Barrymore and did not disappoint, I suspect that Mark Kincaid (who has played the role before which, no doubt, inspired him to direct this production) would have had a more resonant presence, with his deep, booming voice versus Donadio's lighter, more tenor sounding quality. Bottom line, though: Donadio is always welcome in my book.

Patricia French - who I haven't seen in ages but am glad to know she's still in the Atlanta theater scene - plays Felicia. Her voice is deeper and more raspier than ever, thanks to probably thousands of cigarettes. While it pained me that she could never produce a clear sound with her voice the entire evening, the gravel in her delivery (think Carol Channing meets Joan Rivers) was hypnotically listenable, and she still has a perfect track record of good performances. Also notable is Damon Boggess as Andrew, who displayed top notch acting skills and had some very comical moments which actually made me laugh, which is something I don't often openly do at a play.

I am glad that I have finally seen this show, and hopefully after reading this review, you'll know that "to view or not to view" is no longer a question. [POST A COMMENT REGARDING THIS REVIEW]


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