Photo by Don Kellogg

Wednesday, April 1, 2015


Let me just say up front here - Shakespeare is not my cup of tea.  Maybe I'm stupid or thick-headed but the language is far to complicated for my simple mind to follow.  I need the 7 year old's cliff's notes version to follow it.   If I did not know someone in this play I would likely never have gone in the first place.  But there is always a silver-lining in every evening at the theatre.   My silver lining this evening was the incomparable perfectionist, Peter Sarsgaard.

By way of background, I work with someone who used to be an actor. He got a call to come audition for this show and he jumped at the opportunity to get back on stage after 15 years. Fast forward to the evening of my attendance.  Mr. Sarsgaard was completely transformational.  His interpretation and portrayal of Hamlet was simply immersive and complete.  Although I wanted to poke my eyes out at the language, Mr. Sarsgaard managed to captivate my attention and keep me engaged.  My friend from work, Jim Broaddus (Voltemand and others) , the reason I attended in the first place, was that much better in my eyes because of Hamlet (and he was already good).

The directorial choices and the entire setting - I guess a combination of director (Austin Pendleton) and scenic design (Walt Spangler) was lush, sophisticated, and smart.  I won't even begin to analyze it as I have absolutely no idea what anyone else has ever done.  I just know I liked it.

So if you're a Shakespeare fan, grab your ticket to Classic Stage's Hamlet and I can almost guarantee you will be transfixed for the entire 3 hours (including one intermission).  You may even, like me,  get to sit near Jake Gyllenhaal (who's sister Maggie is married to Mr. Sarsgaard)!