It was the coldest night of the year but inside the Music Theatre of Connecticut (MTC) the audience gave a warm reception to opening of this relatively obscure 1991 comedy called, “I Hate Hamlet,” by Paul Rudnick.
The simple plot concerns a TV actor, who has been offered the lead in “Hamlet” at Shakespeare in the Park. He moves to a Greenwich Village apartment that happens to be haunted by the ghost of John Barrymore who once lived there. The actor is torn between a more lucrative, TV role and his romantic girlfriend’s preference that he accept the classical, Shakespearean role. Helping the actor to make the decision and win the favor of his sweetheart is of course, the ghost of Barrymore.
This comedy received several Outer Critics Awards when it appeared on Broadway and yet it only played for 88 performances. MTC Director, Kevin Connors, has added his magic touches and the actors played their roles to the hilt. One just has to be prepared to accept the slap-stick silliness.
One of the highlights is an exciting duel scene between Dan O’Driscoll as “Barrymore” and Constantine Pappas as “Andy” the undecided actor. There are also funny one-liners based on Shakespeare’s popular works and some overdrawn soliloquies.
Elena Ramos Pascullo is Andy’s girlfriend, Jo Anne Parady is one of Barrymore’s former girlfriends, Ulane Klein is the Real Estate gal and mystic, Robert Anthony Jones is the TV production representative.