HAMLET (BROAD STAGE): 96% – SWEET

Michael Benz, left, Dickon Tyrrell, Peter Bray, Miranda Foster and Matthew Romain in “Hamlet” at the Broad Stage. Credit: Noel Vasquez, WireImage.

SWEET
The Globe’s unstuffy approach to Shakespeare is designed to envelop an audience in the sheer pleasure of putting on a show. There’s music, there’s dancing — high spirits abound. Who says death-haunted drama can’t be fun? At the end, the corpses strewn across the stage arise and do a kind of jig. It feels right for a production that would rather be swift than solemn.
Charles McNulty – LA Times

SWEET
To tell you the truth, the last thing I need or thought I needed was another production of Hamlet. I have seen it many many times including with Ralph Fines and Richard Burton. So while the production at the Broad from Shakespeare’s Globe held no surprise, there were still things to admire or see afresh.
Robert Machray – Stagehappenings

SWEET
Directed by Dominic Dromgoole and Bill Buckhurst, this is a brash, fast-paced presentation that embraces its theatrical roots.
Jana Monji – LA Examiner

BITTERSWEET
By forcing the audience to re-consider Shakespeare’s Hamlet through a Brechtian lens, we’re left with a stark, intelligent, well-spoken, yet emotionally distant production of one of the greatest plays ever written. The Buckhurst Globe production doesn’t ever completely arrive, but it’s an interesting experiment, especially for Shakespeare aficionados.
Thomas Anotoinne – Stage and Cinema

SWEET
By stripping away pretense and sentimentality, and trimming the text to come in under three hours, their Hamlet remains fleet of foot, shedding its angst-ridden tendencies, and becomes a vivid rendering that capitalizes on the traditional limitations of touring. (Always remember to pack light.)
Ellen Dostal – Shakespeare in LA

SWEET
This could be the best Hamlet (and the best Hamlet) you will see in your lifetime. It certainly was in mine.
Bob Verini – ArtsInLA

SWEET
The production blows through like a locomotive that’s late for its next stop, with a few exceptions for retrospection: Benz puts the brakes on Hamlet’s clowning with Rosencrantz and Guildenstern (Peter Bray and Matthew Romain, both ebullient and excellent) and settles into a sweetly meditative rendition of “what a piece of work is a man.”
Steven Leigh Morris – LA Weekly

SWEET
This is a rapid-fire, youthful, freshly directed version of the tale of the dark Dane, replete with a youthful blond, practically punky Hamlet (Michael Benz), the only actor playing just one role.
Sarah A. Spitz – Santa Monica Daily Press

SWEET
This is an easy Hamlet to follow directed by Bill Buckhurst. The fight scenes are well choreographed by Sian Williams. With added instruments and a bit of frivolity, particularly in the finale, this is a wonderful opportunity to see a little lighter Hamlet performed by an extremely talented company.
Carol Kaufman Segal – Reviewplays

SWEET
All of the outstanding elements of a Shakespeare’s Globe Theatre production — the acting, text interpretation, music and energy — blast forth from a minimalist set and nondescript costuming in this “Hamlet.”
Julie Riggott – CultureSpotLA

SWEET
There are nearly thirty characters in this play but we get a scaled down version of eight playing a variety of roles and succeeding marvelously.
Joe Straw – Joe Straw #9

SWEET
Featuring a much younger cast than we are accustomed to, the verse, the scansion, the verbal dexterity and the physical prowess of the eight-member cast was a delight from top to bottom.
Dale Reynolds – Stagehappenings

HAMLET
Presented by Shakespeare’s Globe Theatre
At The Broad Stage
1310 11th St., Santa Monica
Ends Nov. 25, 2012; call theatre for schedule
Tickets: $54-$137; (310) 434-3200
Running time: 2 hours, 40 minutes

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Colin Mitchell About the Author: COLIN MITCHELL: Actor/Writer/Director/Producer/Father, award-winning playwright and screenwriter, Broadway veteran, Marvel comics scribe, Van Morrison disciple, Zen-Catholic, a proud U.S. Army Brat conceived in Scotland and born in Frankfurt, Germany, currently living in Los Angeles and doing his best to piss off as many people as possible.

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  1. Angelica says:

    Read Mr. Anontoine’s review again: that’s not sweet. That’s bittersweet. As long as your counting these things.

  2. Colin Mitchell Colin Mitchell says:

    I remember that one being a tough one to pin down, Angelica, because Thomas seemed to be recommending it even though he had problems with it, but on further review I gotta say you are correct and I have made the change. It doesn’t happen often, but I always take a second look when asked. Still a pretty well reviewed show over all. Thanks for taking the time, Angelica.