BY SCOTT STIFFLER | It happens every fall. As leaves turn, the NYC theater community’s cozy little cottage industry of Bard-based fare goes from Shakespeare in the Park to Shakespeare Everywhere You Look.
A repertory presentation of “Twelfth Night” and “Richard III” (whose TV ad blitz plays up the humor) is in previews, opening Nov. 10 on Broadway for a 16-week run. Also on the big time boards, across-the-board reviews for “Romeo And Juliet” brand it a production bogged down by tepid sparks from Orlando Bloom and Condola Rashad as the quintessential passionate lovers. From Nov. 10-12, at Theatre 80 (at 80 St. Marks Place), Chicago’s Improvised Shakespeare Company takes audience suggestions and creates a fully improvised play in Elizabethan style. Over in Brooklyn (at the newly reopened St. Ann’s Warehouse), a crackling, top-caliber, all-female “Julius Caesar” has been extended through Nov. 9.
Fall brings multiple takes on Shakespeare
New York Shakespeare Exchange’s fourth season is dedicated to brushing the dust off Shakespeare and presenting him “freshly painted, with equal coats of admiration and irreverence.” This “Othello” brings the Moor of Venice to a stop–and-frisk society where innocents are targeted because of their skin color.
At Hudson Guild Theater (441 W. 26th St., btw. 9th & 10th Aves.) through Oct. 27. For tickets, call 800-838-3006 or visit brownpapertickets.com. For info: shakespeareexchange.org.
“Hamlet Hallucinations” is a radical interpretation of the melancholy (and possibly mad) Dane. It’s the latest from former Italian soccer star Dario D’Ambrosi — whose Pathological Theater teaches acting and stagecraft to those with mental illness (and whose productions address their perspectives). Performed entirely in English, with a script that includes selections of the Bard’s soliloquies, this “Hamlet” is set in the graveyard — with D’Ambrosio as the gravedigger/storyteller. Giacomo Rocchini plays Hamlet as an obsessive, phobic, Oedipal young man who hears voices and processes thought as a schizophrenic would. Mauro F. Cardinali plays Ophelia and Hamlet’s father, mother and uncle — keeping the audience guessing as to who’s doing the hallucinating, and which character (if any of them) has a true grip on reality.
Thurs.-Sat at 7:30pm and Sun. at 2:30pm. Through Nov. 3, at La MaMa’s First Floor Theater (74 E. Fourth St., btw. Bowery & Second Ave.). For tickets ($18, $13 for students/seniors) and info, call 212-475-77710 or visit lamama.org.
Uptown, the Frog and Peach Theater’s meticulously costumed, paranoid thriller version of “Hamlet” is staged as a high-stakes face-off between two opposite temperaments — with bloodthirsty, old Scandinavia confronting its sleek, modern counterpart. But it’s not all violence and vengeance. The play is being presented in repertory with a series designed with young audiences in mind. “Tinkerbell Theater” adapts Fairy Tales to theater, with a “Rocky and Bullwinkle” touch.
Through Nov. 10, at The West End Theater (263 W. 86th St. btw. Broadway & W. End Ave.). “Hamlet” is performed Thurs.-Sat. at 7:30pm and Sun. at 3pm. Tickets are $18, $12 for student/seniors. To order: 212-868-4444 or smarttix.com. For “Tinkerbell” info, visit frogandpeachtheatre.org.