Diamond Head Theatre summons the witty comedy ‘I Hate Hamlet’

Diamond Head Theatre starts the New Year with a smart, clever play

Barb Forsyth

KAIMUKI—Diamond Head Theatre starts the New Year with a smart, clever play that pits the quest for TV celebrity against the lure of legitimate theatre—the live stage—in I Hate Hamlet by Paul Rudnick.

A young and successful actor relocates to New York where he rents a marvelous gothic apartment. Andrew Rally (Reb Beau Allen) seems to have it all: celebrity and acclaim as a television actor, and a rich and beautiful girlfriend, Dierdre (Lacey Perrine Chu).

Looks are deceiving, however. Andrew’s television series has been canceled, and his most recent role has been in a snack food commercial with a squirrel puppet. There’s good news. His agent gets him a role! It is playing “Hamlet” in NYC’s prestigious Shakespeare in the Park. But Andrew hates “Hamlet” and is further chagrined to learn the famed “Hamlet” actor, John Barrymore, once occupied Andrew’s newly-leased NY apartment.

Life gets complicated with the arrival of Barrymore’s ghost (Paul Mitri—1st and 2nd week, Rob Duval—3rd week), who appears (he claims to have been “summoned”) intoxicated and in high Shakespearean garb. In an odd twist of fate, Barrymore becomes Andrew’s tutor, holding a master class in the playing of the role of “Hamlet” and Andrew’s former life, the LA scene, TV gigs, fame, and fortune, all fade to background, as Andrew embraces the role of his life.

I Hate Hamlet opens at Diamond Head Theatre on January 28 and runs through February 13. Performances are at 8:00 p.m. Thursday to Saturday, 4:00 p.m. on Sunday, and Saturday matinees are at 3:00 p.m. on February 5 and 12. 

Single tickets are priced from $12.00 to $42.00, with discounts available for children under 18, full-time students, seniors 62 and older, and active-duty military. Call (808) 733-0274 to charge by phone or purchase tickets online at www.diamondheadtheatre.com.

Rob Duval directs the show. The program is supported in part by a grant from the Ellen M. Koenig Memorial Fund of the Hawaii Community Foundation. 

Heralded as the “Broadway of the Pacific,” Diamond Head Theatre has delivered live community theatrical entertainment since 1915. The theatre showcases Hawaii’s finest local talent, frequently brings in guest artists and supports performance arts education through a variety of community programs, including the acclaimed Shooting Stars.