Wednesday, May 9, 2012

SMDCAC: Hamlet, Prince of Cuba (reviews)

Asolo Repertory Theatre opened their co-production of Hamlet, Prince of Cuba in Sarasota on March 23, 2012.  On May 11, 2012, they will open it at the South Miami-Dade Cultural Arts Center for a very limited run through Sunday.
Hamlet’s intense struggle to understand the meaning of his life has captivated audiences for more than 400 years. Now, Miami-Dade audiences will be among the first to see a distinctively Cuban Hamlet, which reveals new perspectives on the classic work, while staying true to Shakespeare’s original story. With performances in both Spanish and English, this new adaptation is  a fresh and stunning portrayal of a son’s struggle to pursue justice, and the consequences that threaten to destroy the lives of those he loves.

Adapted by Michael Donald Edwards, translation into Spanish by Nilo Cruz.
Michael Donald Edwards directed a cast that included  Frankie J. Avlarez, Emilio Delgado, Mercedes Herrero, Gisela Chipe, Andhy Mendez, and Douglas Jones.

Wade Tatangelo reviewed for the Bradenton Herald:
It has all the hallmarks of a classic; Sex, violence, a complicated hero, a multi-faceted villain, a bit of humor and a tragic ending.  At its core, though, “Hamlet” is about that timeless theme of vengeance. On this level the Asolo Repertory Theatre’s production, adapted and directed by the company’s producing artistic director Michael Edwards, works extremely well
...Frankie Alvarez delivers a fresh take on the character who must ask “to be or not to be,” playing him by turns mad and melancholy, funny and fierce as he attempts to avenge the death of his father.

Emilio Delgado, who has played Luis the Fix-It Shop owner on “Sesame Street” since 1971, is equally brilliant as King Claudius.
Gisela Chípe is wonderfully unhinged as the theater world’s most famous erotomaniac, Ophelia.

Meanwhile, first-time Asolo Rep guest artist Andhy Mendez does a winning job of selling the climatic sword fight and more as Laertes, the brother of Ophelia and son of Claudius’ chief counselor Polonius (Douglas Jones).
...while Edwards notes in the program that “vengeance has also played a particularly destructive role in Cuba and in Cuban-American relations” we never see this manifest on stage.

In fact, the only reference to the Spanish-American War of 1898 is a rather jarring surprise appearance at the end of the play.
Hamlet, Prince of Cuba plays at the South Miami-Dade Cultural Arts Center through Sunday, May 13, 2012.

No comments:

Post a Comment