This revival of Lee Blessing’s Hamlet redux picks up at the end of the original tale and has strong contemporary resonance due to the (literally) torturous past seven years under the Bush administration. Fortinbras (Greg Baglia) arrives in the aftermath of the regicide, and from his entrance it is clear that Blessing’s tone is sardonic, commenting on both the original work and itself. One of the few survivors in Shakespeare’s Elsinorian debacle, Fortinbras learns of the course of events from Horatio (Blair Hickey) and Osric (A.K. Raymond), but decides that since he’s “lucked into” the throne, he will “replace the whole story” of what happened, settling on a fabrication about a Polish spy as the catalyst for the massacre. While Fortinbras gets comfortable, he is visited by the ghosts of the dead royals, who all try to persuade him to tell the truth, except for Ophelia (Dagney Kerr), who merely wants to jump his bones. The other aberration is Hamlet’s ghost trapped inside a television set, a strange, anachronistic twist that sticks out like a rapier through an arras. Maria Cominis’ direction keeps the laughs coming but sometimes plays to the crowd a bit much. Baglia’s cleverly minimalist set design stretches elements to their full effect, and Tina Zarro’s costumes are perfectly in period, with modern accents. The cast give solid performances overall, but Kerr, playing Ophelia as a Courtney Love–esque sardonic slut, and Raymond, as the deferential straight “man” Osric, stand out.
Fridays, Saturdays, 8 p.m.; Sundays, 2 p.m. Starts: March 28. Continues through May 3, 2008
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