Friday Mack Attack, 4/4/09

This week I'm macking on: Dueling Hamlets. There was this one in New York, that made Christopher Isherwood go all dreamy, and then there's this one in Philly that opens on Tuesday night with one of our golden boys, Rainpan 43's Geoff Sobelle, in the titular role. I don't know how Sobelle will measure up to New York's Camargo, but I'll be judging him against my last, favorite Hamlet, Bill Zielinski, a fine actor formerly of this city, and currently residing in Amsterdam, which is fairly close to Denmark. Zielinski's Dane stalked the Pennsylvania Shakespeare Festival's stage back in 1999, and I can still recall the wild look in his eyes, as a Hamlet who has been shaken to his very core and stands on the precipice of an unjust fate, staring down an unjust descent into madness. 

Sobelle, in this interview, plans to play it cooler, a Hamlet as Tom Waits or Bob Dylan. Well good for him, and good for us. If Isherwood says Camargo plays it soft, all the more reason to check out both and be astounded by the continuing malleability of the painted clay that makes up Shakespeare's men. (At left: Waits illustrates the difference between a hawk and a handsaw.)

This week I'm hating on: unpaid blogging. I've got a lot to do, and so do you, but you're probably getting paid for it. I post out of love, and lately, I just haven't been feeling it. However, if you or your organization is interested in throwing a little coin the way of my highly-targeted audience, well, just that little bit would make it all worthwhile. Please consider advertising on Drama Queen or purchasing a package that graces several ArtsJournal blogs at once. There is, of course, a larger post in here about critics as an endangered species, the disappearance of paid arts journalists, and the necessity for online publications to place a monetary value on their arts writers, but I don't know, maybe I'll get around to that once someone pays me to discuss it.
April 3, 2009 5:28 PM | | Comments (5)


The production of Hamlet put on by the Lantern theater compnay was one of the most fascinating shows i've ever seen. It kept my attention due to the set that didnt really have to do with the classic settiung of the play. The actors, especially Geoff Sobelle, really knew how to use the scaffolding to their advantage and to expand their charater. Hamlet is supposed to be insane and when he swings around the bars like a monkey it made his character more alive and relatable to when one sometimes feels like acting strange. The actors surrounding Hamlet in the cast were more subdued but that was ok since Hamlet is supposed to be the most memorable character. I felt Ophelia's vulnerability. It seemed liuke the actors had a bond in real life because when they exchanged sarcastic comments in context they seemed confortable and had great reaction to one another. It was a bit confusing when the same actors played different parts but the actors that stayed the same made it work and i understood. This productiion excelled on stage decorum and the actors mastered the craft of acting and reacting believably.

I attended the production of Hamlet in Philadelphia with Geoff Sobelle and it was nothing like I expected. To begin with, I have never seen a stage like the one that they performed on. The stage setting was intimate it felt like I was a part of the play. I remembered at the end of the play when they had the sword fight it was fantastic. The choreography of the two was great. It felt so real. They were just swinging the swords back in forth about a foot away from me. Geoff Sobelle did a great job at portraying Hamlet. At the beginning of Act 1 he gave the audience a great idea of what kind of character Hamlet was. Another thing that I enjoyed is how the characters interacted with the audience. During the first half of the play when hamlet was delivering one of his monologue he begin to like poke my teacher. It showed the audience the intensity of the emotion he was trying to portray. Last but not least, I enjoyed how the stage director included Geoff Sobelle prior experience with acrobatics. That really surprised me when they tied that into the play. All in all, I really enjoyed seeing this play. I am really looking forward to seeing another play at the Lantern. Also, I am looking forward to seeing another play with Geoff Sobelle in it.

The Production of Hamlet was absolutely amazing. When I first walked in the theater, I was amazed by the stage, and I was wondering how the characters would move around on it. I was also hoping that they would use the scaffold thing to do some acrobatic moves. Geoff Sobelle did an amazing portrayal of Hamlet and I really liked the way he moved around the stage and still managed to keep character. Also, Shakespeare can get dry and boring sometimes when I don't understand the dialogue, but I never had that problem during the play. I always understood what was going on, and the actors always kept my attention. They were very dramatic and emotional. I really believed them. Overall, I really enjoyed the play, the characters, and the stage, and I would love to see another Lantern Theater Production.

The play of Hamlet was a very exciting experience for me. I was very fond of the set because it allowed the audience to feel apart of the performance. Even though when I first arrived there, I was a little skeptical of how the scaffold would be incorporated into the performance. But Geoff Sobelle (Hamlet) utilized the scaffold very well with his impressive acrobatic moves. The actors were extremely professional and believable. Their exaggerated expressions and body language allowed the audience to understand the difficult Olde English and made each scene more interesting. Overall, the performance was humorous, dramatic and well done.

I attended the production of Hamlet in Philadelphia with Geoff Sobelle. I was expecting a three hour dry performance in which the characters were so Shakespearian that it would take away from the play. However that was not how the play turned out at all. From beginning to end I felt the characters energy and expression kept the play moving. The small cast worked great together in a small amount of space. Geoff Sobelle(Hamlet) did an amazing job portraying the array of emotions Hamlet experienced throughout the play. Sobelle also did an amazing job of getting the crowd involved in the play. What may have surprised me most about the play was Sobelle's athleticism. On the set of the play was a larger scaffold that stood out like a sore thumb. Sobelle often flew through, around, and on the scaffolding while staying in character. Although he seemed to be getting a work out from th movement, it in no way took away from his performance.

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