FREEPORT — The Highland Community College Theatre Department will present Paul Rudnick’s comedy, “I Hate Hamlet.” Performances will begin at 7:30 p.m. Thursday, Oct. 15; 7:30 p.m. Friday, Oct. 16 and 7:30 p.m. Saturday, Oct. 17 in the Fine Arts Theatre located in the Ferguson Fine Arts Center.
The story is about Andrew Rally, who seems to have it all: celebrity and acclaim from his starring role in a hit television series; a rich, beautiful girlfriend; a glamorous, devoted agent; the perfect New York apartment; and the chance to play Hamlet in Central Park. There are, however, a couple of glitches in paradise. Andrew’s series has been canceled; his girlfriend craves romance with unyielding conviction, and he has no desire to play Hamlet. When Andrew’s agent visits him, she reminisces about her brief romance with John Barrymore many years ago, in Andrew’s apartment.
This prompts a séance to summon his ghost. From the moment Barrymore returns, dressed in high Shakespearean garb, Andrew’s life is no longer his own. Barrymore, fortified by champagne and ego, presses Andrew to accept the part and fulfill his actor’s destiny. The action becomes more hilarious with the entrance of Andrew’s deal-making friend from Los Angeles, spouting the laid-back hype of the coast and offering Andrew a fabulous new TV deal worth millions of dollars. The laughs are nonstop as Andrew wrestles with his conscience, Barrymore, his sword, and the fact he hates “Hamlet.”
“This is a witty comedy that takes a look at celebrity, artists, the commercialization of the arts and the importance of tights,” said Mark Jansen, director. “Playwright Paul Rudnick loosely based ‘I Hate Hamlet’ on his own experience renting John Barrymore’s actual Medieval Manhattan duplex in the 1990s.”
Cast members are Andrew Reid, Freeport; Addison Cross, Spring Grove, Minn.; McKenzie Davidson, Winnebago; Kiley Schulz, Stockton; Jackson Mercier, Freeport and Craig Downing, Freeport. The production team is made up of Dave Vrtol, technical director; Linda Foat, costume design; Chloe Jansen, stage manager and Adam Bumber, student stage manager.
Tickets are on sale at the Highland Box Office. Tickets are $6 for students; $8 for seniors and $10 for adults. For reservations call 815.599.3718 or visit highland.edu.