The Accidental Hamlet

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You’ve one chance left to see The Accidental Hamlet in this year’s New York International Fringe Festival (if you think it’s your cup of mead) and it’s less than four hours away! I caught yesterday’s performance and was impressed by the lively good cheer and energy exuded by the two cast members (Bob Homeyer and Danny Ashkenasi) who are charged with the task of telling-but-not-telling the most famous play in the English language.

This too has become a Fringe sub-genre (the pocket jokey Shakespeare), in fact so much so that I was in a show nearly identical to this one over twenty years ago and I must tell you I hated every minute of it. The list of things I don’t do includes cavort, romp, frolic or “play” — so I probably looked about as happy as a cat thrown into a swimming pool in my crown, embroidered vest and brown tights. This is why I have to give high marks to these two gents. I went in to the audience covered with my customary armor of concrete, and within ten minutes they’d won me over to the extent that I found myself enjoying participating in the requisite “groundling interaction” segment. (I love to yell “Whore!” at a man wearing a woman’s wig.)

The reasoning behind doing this kind of theatre continues to elude me, but I will say the show has a certain didactic aspect which, when mixed with the artless fun on view, would make it a good thing to drag a teenager to. (I’d cut it roughly in half, though. Feels about twice too long). Oddly, it turns out the piece was originally written and performed in German (Sebastian Seidel is the playwright; translation was by Philip Zimmerman. Direction of Lissa Moira.)

It’s at the Connelly Theatre. Info, tickets etc here. 

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