Four performers embody all of the characters in The Secret Theatre and Ript Theater Company's fast-paced, non-stop whirlwind production of Shakespeare's classic tragedy.
See it if you already know Ham (if not, it's confusing). 4 actors play all roles. Barebones staging (no props, one backdrop). Interesting sound/lights
Don't see it if you are a WS traditionalist. Language is supreme, but deep cuts to 90 mins. Whirling, fast-paced. Before you go, google plot/characters .
See it if You want to see Hamlet, but don't have the time. This very distilled version hits the high spots but little else.
Don't see it if You are allergic to over the top acting. The director and lead allows Chauncy Thomas to trample over the production.
"Unfortunately with this economic cutting, some important facets of the story do get lost, most especially (regrettably) Hamlet himself as an active player in the drama...The work otherwise is very very strong. The staging of the show is economic and clear, with smooth transitions for the performers to shift roles...The four actors bring an earnest and unadorned vulnerability to their roles that dispels ceremony and dives for the meat of the matter."
"It makes for a thrilling opening and the production takes the audience from one key plot development to another in rapid succession...It is a most interesting ensemble...all selected without regard to the constraints of traditional casting...On a few occasions, the sudden transition from one character to another comes off as unintentionally comical. But the goal of streamlining this most complex play is admirable and, for the most part, successfully fulfilled."
"Not the first actor-director to trod the boards as the Melancholy Dane, but he is one of the successful ones...It's worth appreciating how Winkelstein cut the script to make a 90-minute 'Hamlet' not just one long soliloquy interrupted by short scenes, but a true sense of ensemble...In our current NY theatrical landscape, where 'clever' Shakespeare is sometimes held more highly than telling the story cleanly and with emotion, it's refreshing to see a company that manages to do both."