When this Hamlet (Charles Pasternak) says hell put an antic disposition on, he means it. Pasternaks prince is sometimes maniacal, bounding around and turning somersaults. He brandishes his wit savagely and at times as in the closet scene with Gertrude (Jessica Temple) he can be downright brutal. Hes particularly good in the comic scenes with Rosencrantz (director Thomas Bigley) and Guildenstern (Gus Krieger). Theres not much of the sweet prince about him, but its a performance that works. He receives solid support from Temple, Jack Leahy, doubling as Claudius and the Ghost; Jamey Hecht as Polonius; and Taylor Fisher as Ophelia. Director Bigley provides a mostly direct and straightforward production, despite a few gaffes: the First Actors speech about Pyrrhus is so tricked-out with superfluous business that its both awkward and absurd. On the plus side, Bigley gives us a generous portion of the text, tactfully edited. Costumer Jessica Pasternak is clearly battling budgetary limitations, but her decision to try to convert modern mens suits into period costumes is more distracting than helpful. Its a long evening (more than three hours) but an engrossing one. Flight Theatre, 6472 Santa Monica Blvd., Hlywd.; Thurs. & Sat., 8 p.m.; thru Feb. 13. (951) 262-3030.
Thursdays-Saturdays, 8 p.m. Starts: Jan. 7. Continues through Feb. 14, 2010