BWW Review: Theatre Three's I HATE HAMLET
We all need a good laugh now-a-days and Theatre Three's production of Paul Rudnick's play I Hate Hamlet certainly delivers. The brilliant cast coupled with Mary Powers' clever direction brings roars of laughter throughout the production. Originally on Broadway in 1991, not without controversy, this incarnation runs through February 3rd at the gorgeous Port Jefferson venue.
The story centers on Andrew, an actor, who has moved to New York due to the cancelation of his television series. He's received an opportunity to star in a theatrical production of Hamlet, but he has no passion for the project (hence the name of the show). Ironically, he's purchased an apartment previously owned by former (and, perhaps, best) Hamlet... the great John Barrymore.
In an ensemble company filled with Theatre Three vets, Dylan Robert Poulos charmingly portrays Andrew who we see get increasingly frustrated which is well exude by Mr. Poulos. This is not only because he's upset about his former television show and everyone pushing him to do a project he doesn't want to do, but also because his doe-eyed actor girlfriend, Deidre, strongly portrayed by Jessica Contino, has committed to "save herself" for marriage and seems very naïve in the overall relationship forward. Oh, and also, during a séance, the ghost of Barrymore, portrayed remarkably by Steve McCoy, appears to help Andrew prepare for his performance in Hamlet.
The rest of the stellar cast is top notch as is Ms. Powers' superb creative team. Randall Parsons' New York City apartment set is gorgeous with the bi-level stage featuring vintage style pieces (wall art, couch, grand staircase, ext). This is beautifully enhanced by the stunning lighting design (Mr. McCoy's entrance is a highlight) by Robert W. Henderson, Jr. and the attractive costumes designed by Su Jung Lee Weaver.
And so, Paul Rudnick's I Hate Hamlet is certainly a hit for Port Jefferson's Theatre Three. If you need an escape to laugh and smile, this is your show. An extraordinary cast and hilarious story make for a truly entertaining night of theatre.
I Hate Hamlet is presented by Theatre Three of Port Jefferson, Long Island, through February 3rd. For more information and to purchase tickets, please call 631-928-9100 or visit www.theatrethree.com.
By Paul Rudnick, Directed by Mary Powers, Scenic Design by Randall Parsons, Costume Design by Su Jung Lee Weaver, Lighting Design by Robert W. Henderson, Jr., Properties by Linda May, Fight Choreography by Steven Uihlein, Stage Management by Alissa Graber