Hamlet | Live Bait Theatre | Theater & Performance | Chicago Reader

Hamlet Closing (Theater and Galleries) Member Picks New Review (Theater and Comedy) Recommended The Short List (Theater)

When: Thursdays-Sundays. Continues through Feb. 25 2012

Youthful and brisk, this black-box production from upstart (Re)discover Theater simplifies Shakespeare's classic by emphasizing the relationship between Hamlet (hammy, excellent Jon Matteson) and Ophelia (remarkable Miriam Reuter). Director Matthew Wills plays up their love story with a shocking, sexy scene in which the pair fall in love in pantomime and nearly consummate. It sure demystifies their connection—and also informs the tragedy of the middle third of the play, making Ophelia's death all the more haunting and important. So what, then, if Hamlet himself is no enigma but a fairly self-assured young man with a plan? And almost every line is delivered with such urgency that it goes over like a lead balloon? And Fortinbras turns out to be a jerk? It's all part of the exuberance of the show, a heady, pretty new violet: "Forward, not permanent, sweet, not lasting, / The perfume and suppliance of a minute." —Asher Klein

Price: $10-$12

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