From the 2009-2010 Season:
Hamlet! The Musical!
Playing July 08, 2010 to August 08, 2010
The show on Wed. Aug 4 has been cancelled.
‘There are more things in Heaven and Earth, Horatio, than are dreamt of in your philosophy’
Ladies and Gentlemen, Original Practice has left the building*! The year is 2010 and the Denizens of Purgatory have taken over the Shakespeare Tavern to orchestrate their production of HAMLET with the souls of performers to determine their damnation or salvation.
If you thought this was going to be an ASC version of HAMLET with some Elizabethan-style music added, think again. We’ve always known that Shakespeare rocks, and this summer we’ll prove it.
Audience Advisory: This production contains Adult Themes, Sexual Situations, References to Drug Use and Shocking Violence.
Based on the original production:
Book by Shakespeare (edited by Eddie Levi Lee and Rebecca Wackler)
Lyrics by Lee, Wackler, and Phillip DePoy
Music by Phillip DePoy
Additional material, edits, and lyrics by Drew Reeves
Additional music and arrangements by Renee Clarke, J.C. Long, and Travis Smith
*for the summer.
Join the cast & crew for a Q&A after the performance on Sunday July 18.
Get a taste of the kind of music you’ll get to hear....here.
What Director/Adaptor Drew Reeves wants you to know about Hamlet! The Musical!
Directed by Drew Reeves
Music Director - Renee Clark
There’s something very exciting happening at the Shakespeare Tavern.
I am honored to be helming our production of HAMLET! THE MUSICAL! Whatever your expectations are for this production, I am confident it will be an evening filled with unexpected surprises (even if you are familiar with the original production conceived at the Academy Theatre and followed up with a very successful run at Theatrical Outfit in the late 1980’s, early 1990’s.) I have taken the original material and made it a unique fantasy play, adding my own personal spin.
But enough about me, because then there’s our incredible Musical Director Renee Clark (Musical Director for ASC’s Cabaret and The Fantasticks) and one of the most talented ensembles of ‘quintuple threat’ actors, singers, musicians, composers, and dancers ever assembled. We are creating as we go. The seed may have been planted by me, but the entire company is shaping the show. We conceived and wrote a hot new musical number in an hour while in the midst of another rehearsal!
This is not HAMLET straight-up with some music added, but rather a play-within-a-play. This is the story of a variety of recently deceased contemporary ‘performers’ being made to play the characters in HAMLET in Purgatory. Each comes to discover a personal connection to the character they playing, the same as every actor must do in their process. The enduring themes of the original are paralleled. Is a life of misery truly worth living, and is it the fear of the unknown afterlife that makes us endure our woes? The choices we make (or choose to not make) in life may seem the correct course at the time, but lead to unexpected consequences, even the seemingly insignificant ones. And how much do those choices matter when we all come to the same end?
The intent is not farcical parody, but rather a dark humor parable.
We are putting a lot of ourselves into this piece. Everyone is taking a step outside our ‘comfort zones’. I believe it’s this level of risk, and the fact that we are bringing a deeper level of our personal ‘dark sides’ into the mix, that will make this a theatre piece that is not to be missed.
Of course, I’m a little biased. Buy your tickets and come see for yourselves. The one thing I can absolutely guarantee is that you’ve never seen anything like this before.
Act One - 75 minutes Act 2 - 60 minutes (Approx.)
Film Star (‘Hamlet’) – J.C. Long*
Aging Musician/Drug Dealer (‘Claudius’) – Travis Smith*
Washed-Up Backup Singer (‘Ophelia’) – Becky Cormier-Finch
Film Star’s Mother (‘Gertrude’) – Lynna Schmidt*
Street Musician (‘Polonius’) – Jeff McKerley*
Entertainment Correspondent (‘Laertes’) – Nick Arapoglou
Holy Dreadfuls Traveling Gospel Troupe: Renee Clark,Mark Schroeder, Maureen Yasko, Matt Nitchie
Film Star’s Runaway Father (‘Ghost of Hamlet’s Father’) – Clarke Weigle
Minions of the Afterlife (dancer chorus): KG Morton, Israel Hillery*, David Sterritt, Dan Brown
Blind Man Who Sees All – Jeff Watkins
Bardometer RatingHow difficult is this Shakespearean play to grasp? On a scale of 1 to 10.
What does rating this mean?
These are plays you may have read in high school or college. The plot is fairly uncomplicated, though some of the themes may be dense or dark. These plays may include supernatural elements, straight-forward politics, historical content or religious content. (In these cases, we offer a synopsis with important historical or contextual explanations which you may read in the Playbill before the show.) In these plays, there may also be bawdy language and certain adult situations, and the language may be hard to follow for a first-timer.
We recommend this type of play to High School and College Students, casual theatre-goers, people who like mainstream films and reading “The Onion”, and Shakespeare lovers who enjoy delving into the Elizabethan world.
How to prepare for seeing this kind of play: You may wish to read the synopsis we provide (and maybe your notes from Literature Class). Or simply do a small amount of internet research. No worries – you won’t get lost.