July 13, 2006

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I Hate Hamlet
The dead debate the living in a New York apartment
By Heidi Masek hmasek@hippopress.com

There’s sword-fighting, ghosts and a 29-year-old virgin in I Hate Hamlet, by Paul Rudnick, which Milford Area Players will stage for two weekends starting Thursday, July 14, at the Amato Center for the Performing Arts in Milford.

“I’ve always liked the show, it’s a great read,” said director Mike Wood of Nashua. Rudnick also writes for Vanity Fair and the New York Times and wrote screenplays for In and Out, Addams Family Values, and The Stepford Wives.

“This TV actor, picture somebody from E.R., rents an apartment in New York that used to be owned by John Barrymore, Drew’s grandfather,” Wood explained about the 1990s play. Barrymore, a legendary Shakespearean actor in the 1920s, starts haunting the place when Andrew Rally, the TV actor, gets a gig playing Hamlet in Shakespeare in the Park, a character he hates. Side stories involve Rally’s girlfriend, the “last 29-year-old virgin,” his L.A. agent best friend, and his Queens real estate agent who had a fling with Barrymore in the same apartment once upon a time.

Wood, a Nashua Theatre Guild board member, pitched the play to MAP last year because he identified with the main character.

“I’m not a Shakespeare fan personally, and the irony of the play is that he hates Hamlet.”

NTG does Shakespeare in the Park every summer. I Hate Hamlet isn’t “anti-Shakespeare, Wood said. “I think if you worked with Shakespeare, you kind of appreciate the irreverence for it but ultimately the respect for the language, the history all comes to fruition.”

Wood said this is challenging to produce for community theater. As a ghost story, the play requires special effects like candles and fireplaces that turn on and off of their own accord. It also requires a two-tier set.

“It’s rare to have 16-foot walls in community theater,” Wood said. It’s tough on the budget. “The Mildford Area Players committed to make this special,” Wood said.

I Hate Hamlet challenges actors as well. Chris Jones of Townsend, Mass., who plays John Barrymore, and Will McGregor of Lowell, Mass., who plays Andrew Rally, are on stage for almost the entire play. There’s also the 20 hours they spent rehearsing a sword fight. “It added such an essential element to the show having the sword fight look like a sword fight rather than a couple people who don’t know what they’re doing...” Wood said. McGregor, Wood and actress Gail Angellis in the show all worked with the same acting teacher.

So does Claudius
I Hate Hamlet will be presented by Milford Area Players Fridays and Saturdays, July 14-22 at 8 p.m. and Sundays, July 16 and 23, at 2 p.m. at the Amato Center for the Performing Arts, Route 13, Milford. Tickets are $10; $5 for seniors, students or groups. Buy tickets at Toadstool Bookshops in Milford, the Homestead Grocery in Amherst, MilfordAreaPlayers.org or at the door of the Amato Center. 673-2258.


07/06/2006 Serious theater
06/29/2006 L.A. in Peterborough
06/22/2006 Da Vinci to Rube Goldberg
06/15/2006 Peter Bridges remembered
06/08/2006 From Hairspray to monkeys
06/01/2006 Special Theatrics
05/25/2006 Live Brit-com
05/18/2006 Evil stepsisters earn the yuks
05/11/2006 A message to mom
05/04/2006 Meet the cast
04/27/2006 'I hope i get it'
04/20/2006 Find yourself in Yonkers
04/13/2006 Nashua rocks The Wiz
04/06/2006 Nashua rocks The Wiz
03/30/2006 Cabaret is Mnchester bound
03/23/2006 A 42nd Street detour
03/16/2006 Actor-director wants your ideas
02/23/2006 Yellow Taxi's Theater Festival opens March 1
02/16/2006 Herding CATS
02/09/2006 An actors' studio
02/02/2006 A thing about love
01/26/2006 Spring theater season warming up
01/19/2006 Gearing up for the big night
01/12/2006 This Phantom is not a menace
01/05/2006 Jim Kelly, sci-fi writer and alternate historian
10th anniversary at Capitol Center
10 Ways To Survive The Audition
A Chorus Line
A Figaro Worth Cheering
A 'Living Newspaper' on stage
A tale of two wives
A Tribute To Music
Actorsingers Deliver On Superstar
Beauty and the Beast
Bedford Off-Broadway Gets Spooky
Being The Beatles, 1964 The Tribute
Bringing NYC to Wilton
Creating the venue from antiques
Crimes Of The Heart
Curtain to rise on Dana Center
Dana Center Takes Center Stage
Ensemble elevates Palace’s Godspell
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Greater Tuna
Humble Boy
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It's Child's Play
Jesus Christ Superstar
Kids Tackle Edgar Allan Poe
Local boy hits the big time, doesn’t lose his head
Lowell theater opens with a winner of a satire
Madco welcomes Boston actor-director
Meet John Sefel, Director
Meet Suzanne Delle, Yellow Taxi’s driver
Music Man to run three weekends
New Thalian Players
Palace announces 2005-06 season
Peterborough Players’ Solidarity is solid gold
Plaid
Plaid (II)
Playing with man’s best friend
Proud of the Peacock
Racy, crazy blast at the Palace
Reviving His Passion
Robert Dionne, The man behind the Majestic
Rosemary Dann
Secrets Every Smart Traveler Should Know
Short-Attention Span Theater
Side Show
Sideshow slips sideways
Spending The Summer On Stage
Stages of learning
Steel Magnolias
Suessical: The Musical
Theater Of The Imagination
Theater Kids Without A School
Theater in the park draws big
The Drawer Boy
The Festival
The Five best shows of 2005
The Prisoner Of Second Avenue
The Russian/American Kids Circus
The Senator Wore Pantyhose
The Tony Awards, they're grrrrreat
The Warmth Of The Cold
Three nights, three shows at the Palace
Tosca

Under the Caribbean with the little mermaid

Wake up to ‘night Mother