MvVO Art Launches AD ART SHOW
Off Broadway

How to Hamlet, or Hamleting Hamlet Doesn’t Quite Hamlet

How to Hamlet, or Hamleting Hamlet Doesn’t Quite Hamlet

Theater Reconstruction Ensemble attempts to turn “hamlet” into a verb, though it isn’t clear what that means. Directed and conceived by John Kurzynowski, the play is intriguing and well-staged, though it could probably do with a through workshop and 20 more minutes of content.

Four actors find themselves in a theater, and they are prepared to watch a show, only to discover that they are the show! As panic sets in, they check the program to see what the play is supposed to be about. After a quick plot summary of Hamlet, they briefly discuss what it means to “hamlet.” They hop into costumes and get on with the show. As they move through a shortened version of Hamlet, each actor becomes possessed by the spirit of the character they are portraying. It never becomes clear to us why this is happening, but as the mystical powers prey on them, the actors take it in stride and are simultaneously freaked out by it.

The cast of four is undoubtedly talented and they deliver the Shakespearean speeches with intensity and command of the language. Often the speeches employ vernacular to summarize Shakespeare’s longer thoughts and to comedic effect. While it might be a bit difficult to follow where they are in the story of Hamlet, there are some really lovely moments. Each cast member stands out in their own way: Sam Corbin excels at drawing meaning with every word, Joshua William Gelb is the physical and comedic uplift of the piece, Emily Marro’s vocal quality from character to character is impressive and Nathaniel Basch-Gould caresses the gentler speeches with power.

The design of the production is suitably minimal, and its greatest achievement is the lighting which compliments all of the mystical happenings of the play. While the actors are impressive, the fault of the piece seems to be in the structure. It is tricky to connect exactly what it means “to hamlet” with the actions taken throughout the play. It feels like a short summary of Hamlet that ends with a beautifully delivered speech of Priam’s brutal death.

While the concept of the play is very intriguing, the delivery of the concept is muddled.

How to Hamlet, or Hamleting Hamlet: Theater Reconstruction Enemble, HERE 145 6th Ave. Closes April 14th.

Off Broadway

Virginia Jimenez is a writer, dancer and teaching artist in New York City. She teaches for various companies focusing on dancing for musical theatre, ballroom dancing, theatrical skills and story building. Bringing arts education to students in NYC is incredibly rewarding for her because she is passionate about arts integration and using the arts to facilitate an emotional education. As a writer, Virginia believes in the power of words and stories to challenge and encourage audiences to seek growth and modes of expression. She likes tequila and ice cream - though not necessarily together.

More in Off Broadway

Jessica Hecht, Andrew Garman, Ben Edelman

He Says: Admissions Landmines and Arguments Blowing-up Beautifully

RossMarch 23, 2018
Layla Khosh, Abby Rosebrock

The Dido of Idaho Voyage Lands Solidly in a Safe Harbor

RossMarch 22, 2018
Chukwudi Iwuji, Chris Perfetti

The Low Road Tries Valiantly To Hit the High

RossMarch 20, 2018
Tilda Swinton Answers an Add on Craigslist

Tilda Swinton Answers An Ad on Craig’s List and Snap, The Job’s a Game

RossMarch 20, 2018
Jessica Hecht, Ben Edelman

Joshua Harmon’s Admissions Shows Some Tough Realities

Suzanna BowlingMarch 19, 2018
Ben Caplan

Old Stock: A Refugee Love Story Shows How Love Conquers All

Suzanna BowlingMarch 18, 2018
Amy and The Orphans

He Says: Amy and the Orphans A Salute to the Real Aunt Amy and to the Play’s Star, Jamie Brewer

RossMarch 18, 2018
Barbara Garrick, Laurence Lau.

He Says: The Review Keen Company’s Later Life

RossMarch 16, 2018
Barbara Garrick, Laurence Lau, Jodie Markell, Liam Craig

She Says: Later Life, a Show Time has Passed By

Suzanna BowlingMarch 16, 2018