by Morey Storck –
M&M Performing Arts Company will bring I Hate Hamlet by Paul Rudnick, a comedy with a ghost, to the Lyndhurst mansion for four consecutive weekends, opening February 10 and running through March 4. The plot revolves around the character Andrew Rally, an actor who seems to have it all: a hit television series, a beautiful girlfriend, the perfect New York apartment, and the chance to play Hamlet in Central Park. However, Andy’s TV series has been canceled, his girlfriend is eccentric, his apartment is haunted and he HATES Hamlet. A perfect comic scenario. It will be directed by the Artistic Director of M&M, Melinda O’Brien. The cast will be Tal Aviezer, Keith Erik Brown, Amy Frey, Elizabeth Mialaret, Leslie Smithey and Mikel Von Brodbeck. The production will be stage managed by Nancy Weiss and Emmy Schwartz.
M&M Performing Arts Company is the resident theater company of Lyndhurst. It has been producing quality theater in the Hudson Valley since 2000. Recently, The Hudson Independent stated that M&M was “adept at stretching the imagination of an audience and then capturing it.”
In repertory with I Hate Hamlet will be a co-production with Red Monkey Theater Group (RMTG) of, perhaps, Shakespeare’s greatest tragedy, Hamlet…but with a twist. The play, as adapted by Tal Aviezer, is a fast-paced, 90-minute version! It is intense and condensed. “My aim is to remove as many barriers as possible between the Bard’s words and the audience. We hope our production will still convey a sense of emotional, intellectual truth and spiritual homecoming to our audience,” he said. The production will be directed by Aviezer and features: Kate Berg, Germainne Lebron, Nick Leshi, Melinda O’Brien, Lawrence J. Reina, Gregg Shults and Mikel Von Brodbeck. Only six weekend performances of Hamlet will be presented, from February 17 through March 4.
Red Monkey Theater Group was founded in 1999. In the Fall of 2012, Red Monkey began a residency on the campus of the College of Mount Saint Vincent in the Riverdale neighborhood of the Bronx. The Grand Picture Gallery at Lyndhurst will be ideally suited to the company’s performance style and intimate staging, both of which are RMTG’s hallmarks.
(A note to readers: The unusual juxtaposition of these two plays was first suggested by M&M’s Melinda O’Brien. She felt the dramatic concept was worth exploring, adding new definition to both plays’ cross-over boundaries and the ensuing discussion. It should also be noted that several actors will participate in both casts.)