This is a guest review from our friends at the Delaware Arts Info blog, written by Charles "Ebbie" Alfree. You can find their website at http://www.deartsinfo.com for reviews on local theatre, concerts, museum exhibitions, and more!
There is nothing like spending a gorgeous summer night with friends, wine, nosh and one of The Bard's most famous plays performed live outside. Thankfully the Delaware Shakespeare Festival (DSF) provides this opportunity in Rockwood Park! Regardless if you are a Shakespeare aficionado or novice, you will have a delightful evening at DSF.
Hamlet (Griffin Stanton-Ameisen) is restrained by Horatio (Sean Close), while Marcellus (Sean Vermeire) guards the Ghost (Michael Gamache). Photo credit: Alessandra Nicole
This year's DSF production is Hamlet. Of course, most of us have read Hamlet and/or seen a production of the play or a film version. We know Hamlet, but director David Stradley breathes new life into this iconic piece. His sophisticated production ignites the enchanting grounds of Rockwood Park and makes the material fresh and exciting.
The multi-level stage by Scenic Designer Oona Curley with the park as its backdrop is enthralling. The cutout quasi-square-shaped back wall not only makes it convenient for the actors to enter and exit the stage, but it also frames the scenes with the lush green field in the distance. It's as if each scene begins as a picture that comes to life.
The cast in a scene utilizing all three levels of the set. Photo credit: Alessandra Nicole
And, bringing the play to life is a stellar cast led by Griffin Stanton-Ameisen as Prince Hamlet. Mr. Stanton-Ameisen's Hamlet has an emo rock star look, which is fitting for a character that is quite expressive with his thoughts and feelings. Mr. Stanton-Ameisen's dynamic performance conveys the depths of anger and pain his character feels once finding out his uncle (Claudius, the now King of Denmark) has married his mother (Gertrude) after killing his father. Carl Granieri and Caroline Crocker give magnificent performances as the devious Claudius and weary Gertrude.
Clare Mahoney as the lovelorn Ophelia— who is told by Hamlet to go to a nunnery when she professes her love for him — and James Kassees as Opheila's father Polonius, are both compelling and remarkable in their roles.
The Players begin their scene at Elsinore Castle. Photo credit: Alessandra Nicole
As most know, Hamlet doesn't end well for its leading characters, but that doesn't dampen the lovely evening only DSF can provide in a charming atmosphere. Don't delay; get your tickets today before this production closes!
Hamlet plays at Rockwood Park until July 27. Purchase tickets at the door or visit htp://www.delshakes.org. Don't forget to bring your own chairs, drinks and food! If you don't want to pack food, the Wandering Chef Catering Cart is in the park selling delicious fare!
I caught this play last night. I highly recommend it, not only for the performance, but also for the ambiance. Rockwood is a great venue for plays, easy to get to, plenty of parking, short walk with your picnic basket to the seating area. Although I must say, I was disappointed at how many cliches Shakespeare used.
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