I Hate Hamlet at Germantown Community Theatre 

It's the day of dress rehearsal, and John Moore, who plays the ghost of actor John Barrymore in Paul Rudnick's comedy I Hate Hamlet, is about to get his tights. "Ah yes, the tights," he says. "You know, they don't hide a lot. Like Barrymore says, 'This is the history of Prince Hamlet. Tight pants. That's what Hamlet's about. A young man full of vigor."

This year marks the 400th anniversary of Shakespeare's death, and the Bard, whose work is always in heavy rotation, is getting a little extra love. In addition to producing his plays, Memphis companies are also staging works inspired by Shakespeare. As was the case with Theatre Memphis' very funny production of The Complete Works of William Shakespeare (Abridged), one doesn't have to know all that much about Elizabethan theater to get the jokes in I Hate Hamlet, though some familiarity will make for a better experience.

click to enlarge Hamlet — a man in tight pants
  • Hamlet — a man in tight pants

"It's like being in the live studio audience for a sitcom," Moore says. It's a good description, too.

I Hate Hamlet tells the story of Hollywood actor Andrew Rally, the popular star of a TV show that's just been cancelled. The good news, he's been offered the title role in Shakespeare in the Park's production of Hamlet. The not-so-good news: He's not a fan. The weird news: He's living in John Barrymore's old apartment, and the actor's martini-swilling spectre keeps showing up to offer acting and life advice.

"He's called a ham," Moore says of Barrymore, who swills, swaggers, staggers, and sword fights his way through the play. "So I'm playing him like he's always on."

Favorite

Comments

Subscribe to this thread:

Add a comment

ADVERTISEMENT
ADVERTISEMENT

Blogs

We Saw You

Drew Erwin opens downtown studio. Plus party news.

Music Blog

Keith Sykes Leads Ardent Into a New Era

Film/TV/Etc. Blog

"1,300 Men: Memphis Strike '68" To Screen At Main Library

Politics Beat Blog

Weekend Review: Confederate Statues Loom Over GOP Debates

News Blog

Haslam Signs Bill for Sunday Wine, Liquor Sales

News Blog

GoFundMe for City Draws Dollars, Criticism

Music Blog

MonoNeon Featured in Bandcamp Daily

Hungry Memphis

Parade Kicks Off Hot Wing Festival

ADVERTISEMENT

More by Chris Davis

Readers also liked…

ADVERTISEMENT
© 1996-2018

Contemporary Media
460 Tennessee Street, 2nd Floor | Memphis, TN 38103
Visit our other sites: Memphis Magazine | Memphis Parent | Inside Memphis Business
Powered by Foundation