Hamlet3 | Performing Arts Review | Chicago Reader

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Like any great dramatic character, Hamlet is full of contrary impulses. Literalizing this obvious truth, director Christopher Fuller divides the melancholy Dane among three actors representing his "passive," "emotional," and "trickster" selves. Predictably, Shakespeare's complex creation becomes schematized--the emotional Hamlet is droopy, the trickster is demented, and the passive is, um, Hamlet. Occasionally the device leads to downright silliness: the "To be or not to be" soliloquy turns into a group discussion. Fuller further muddies matters by decking out his production in faux japonaiserie, using inconsistent conventions, and casting mostly self-conscious college-age actors who can't handle even this liberally edited version of the play. Small wonder only four of the original seven opening-night audience members made it past intermission. Through 7/31: Thu-Sat 7 PM, Sun 2 PM. Also 2 PM Sat. Theatre Building Chicago, 1225 W. Belmont, 773-327-5252. $20.

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