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November 18, 2009 > Theatre Preview: "I Hate Hamlet"

Theatre Preview: "I Hate Hamlet"

By Lauren Dunn

"To be, or not to be: that is the question," a question implored by the cast of American High School's fall production "I Hate Hamlet."

Troy River directs this quick-witted comedy by Paul Rudnick that depicts Andrew Rally's seamlessly perfect life. An applauded celebrity with a successful television show; a beautiful-and wealthy- girlfriend (Deirdre McDavey); a dutiful agent (Lillian Troy); doting producer (Gary Peter Lefkowitz); John Barrymore's New York City apartment; and the opportunity to play Hamlet in Central Park; Rally seems to be living the good life.

Despite his good fortune Rally is convinced that the prized role of Hamlet will be made a mockery by his performance. Through the encouragement of his girlfriend, manager, and real estate agent (Felicia Dantine) they conduct a seance, hoping to summon the late John Barrymore, acclaimed actor who rose to fame as Hamlet. Barrymore returns from the dead, mentoring Rally in his quest to successfully live up to this once-in-a-lifetime role as Hamlet.

Senior, Alexander Prucha captures the show with his standout performance as John Barrymore. In his theatrical debut, Prucha revives the lure of old Hollywood, charming the audience with wit and confident bravado. His passionate energy electrifies the room, displaying unparalleled raw talent; a force to be reckoned with. Leading man of this fall production, Senior Jonathan Barouch brings quirky sensitivity to the role of Andrew Rally.

Manuel Barrera shines as pompous and witty agent, Gary Peter Lefkowitz. As a supporting character he delivers punchy lines with perfect execution, winning the audience with charisma. Kamile Parungao (Deirdre McDavey), Julia Poniatowski (Lillian Troy), and Trisha Karma (Felicia Dantine) round out a successful supporting cast, each actress bringing something different to the table. Paungao wholesomely captures the virginal qualities of Deirdre McDavey; Poniatowski executes the regal air as the sophisticated German Troy and Karma possesses determined confidence as real estate agent Dantine.

This production has something for everyone's taste. Captivating sword fights will entrance action seekers. The innocent romance between Rally and Mcdavey passionately cries out for admirers while comedic relief interspersed throughout the play lightens the heavy story line. Adult content provides much of the humor making this play unfit for young audiences.

To go; or not to go: that is the question. American High School's fall production "I Hate Hamlet" is a must see for both theater and Shakespearean enthusiasts.

Tickets can be purchased in advance by calling (510) 796-1776 x57702, or at the door of Theatre 70.

"I Hate Hamlet"
Presented by American High School
Friday, Saturday and Sunday; Nov. 19, 20, 21
7 p.m.
American High School, Theatre 70
36300Fremont Blvd., Fremont
(510) 796-1776 x57702

General Admission: $10
Students and Seniors: $8

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