Tuesday, June 30, 2009

Hamlet is a Tragedy No More...

...for it brings Jude Law to the New York stage. Yes!

---> "Yes you will see Hamlet for the 17th time*, Nathaniel. By royal decree!"

Every year I vow to be done with Shakespeare but the movie stars keep roping me back in. You know my feelings here. To sum up: there are 1000s of brilliant old plays by 100s of great playwrights; we are rarely presented with anything but 37 by 1. Even here in NYC. Yes we occasionally get a revival by someone whose name doesn't rhyme with Schmakeschmeare. But more often than not it's Romeo & Juliet or Twelfth Night and Hamlet above all else.

In fact I just saw Hamlet for the 16th time last year with Michael Stuhlbarg as the Prince of Denmark. (Stuhlbarg is a well regarded stage actor but he's getting his first substantial shot at a movie career as the lead in the next Coen Bros picture, A Serious Man). I have yet to see Anne Hathaway in Twelfth Night in the Park but I shall. I've heard only fine things and she's co-starring with three of Broadway's best: Audra McDonald (somebody cancel Private Practice so she'll be able to do more musicals again, please), Julie White (Shia's mom in Transformers, sigh) and Raúl Esparza, he of the can't-win-a-TONY-even-though-i'm-usually-better-than-my-competition problem.

But back to the man at hand.

Kathleen Turner and Jude Law (TONY nominee) as
incestuous mother & son in Indiscretions (1995)

Starting in September, Jude Law will be working the boards as the troubled Dane. He's already done so to great acclaim across the Atlantic. He'll force me to endure my umpteenth Hamlet. I am so very tired of Prince Hamlet but I have yet to tire of Sir** David Jude Law. And he hasn't been on the Broadway stage since before he was a celebrity, so it'll be an event. Last time he caused quite a ruckus taking a bath for Kathleen Turner live on stage eight times a week, long before he did the same for Matt Damon in The Talented Mr Ripley, igniting his movie stardom.

* I haven't really seen Hamlet 16 times. But it feels like it.
** He isn't knighted yet but you know he will be. Give him another 20 years.


Christine said...

I'm going to Twelfth Night this weekend. Very excited

Chris Na Taraja said...

I've taken many baths, but it never made me a celebrity!

Anonymous said...

Jude is comming to Broadway!!
fangirl squeal!!!

NicksFlickPicks said...

I don't know about "great acclaim"... the New York Times and the Daily Telegraph were both kind of, "Well, if you want to see some BIG acting!..." Twelfth Night is supposed to be delightful, though.

For me, the Shakespearean heat is all about the Coriolanus that Ralph Fiennes is pulling together to star in and direct, with Vanessa Redgrave as the mom for whom he feels funny tingly feelings. An imperious conqueror, a strong and still-sexy mom of advanced years: what could be better casting? Plus, all those ice-blue eyes in one movie!

Anonymous said...

Mmmm, I gotta say Jude and Kathleen look really sexy together.

On an off topic note, can any confirm if Kathy Bates is dead or not? IMDB says she is but it can't always be trusted

Cristhian said...

Off the subject but, just to let you know, Pina Baush died. very sad. She was part of the inspiration that brought "Talk to Her" to life. Who can forget that opening sequence of Cafe Muller? http://www.guardian.co.uk/culture/charlottehigginsblog/2009/jun/30/dance-pinabausch


chris -LOL. Well, no offense but you probably don't look like Jude Law. (not that any of us do)

Nick -- that's interesting. I mean, didn't FIENNES already do that like 5 years ago? with linus roache or something? is he reviving?

anon -- the newswires say nothing about kathy bates.

Wayne B said...

I wonder who will play Ophelia and Gertrude though. Any word on that yet?

Michael W. said...

This production with Law as Hamlet will come to Denmark and Kronborg castle in Helsingør(Elsinore) for six days in late august. I had really hoped to get tickets but they were sold out in two days. I still hope to get some cancellation tickets though. It would be a great experience to see Law as Hamlet there.

NicksFlickPicks said...

@N: No, no, not on stage this time: a movie.

@Everyone: Could this Kathy Bates thing be true, two days after the fact? Do people really put up false info on IMDb like this? Need I spend the next hour Googling? I would hate for this to be true...

Anonymous said...

I have no comment other than Raul is a Broadway god!

Ramon said...

I had a chance to see Twelfth Night, and while Anne was graceful, it wasn't exactly a mindblowing performance nor a challenging role. One of the easier Shakespeare heroines to play, methinks. She still had a little problem with her line delivery - they came off staccato and forced at points.

Wayne B said...

Nick - I hope its a fraud, that would be more devastating than either Farrah or MJ. Haven't seen anything official yet.

Arkaan said...

I did a check once and this is what I found re: Shakespeare on Broadway... (this was early 2008, before the BAM/Stewart MACBETH)

1. Cymbeline: December 2, 2007
2. Julius Ceasar: April 3, 2005
3. King Lear: March 4, 2004
4. Henry IV: November 20, 2003
5. Macbeth: June 16, 2000
6. Twelfth Night: July 16, 1998
7. A Midsummer Night's Dream: March 31, 1996
8. The Tempest: November 1, 1995
9. Hamlet: May 2, 1995
10. Timon of Athens: November 4, 1993

So that's ten Shakespeares in 14 years. Given that this is SHAKESPEARE, it's really hard to suggest (to me) that it's overplayed.

Now, if you include Off-Broadway, I dare suggest that you get tonnes of Ibsens, Strindbergs etc. They're just not high profile enough.

And I've gotta ask, Nathaniel, did you see Exit the King or Mary Stuart on Broadway (you haven't mentioned that you have). Or The Seagull. Or Hedda Gabler.

Being done with Shakespeare? Dear God, man, how is that even possible?

Sorry, but this rankles almost as much as your "Eastwood isn't great but no one else knows but me" bender.


Random coincidence - The last time Hamlet was on Broadway, the Hamelt won the tony (Feinnes). That season, Law was nominated for Indiscretions.


Arkaan -- it's not that i don't enjoy Shakespeare. I raved about the Romeo & Juliet Park production two years back for example... obvs he's brilliant.

I just feel like the continual reliance on him is a very clear fusion of two things that are unhealthy 1) financial concerns controlling all artistic decisions and
2) the artistic community having some imagination problems.... the same thing everyone else complains about when Hollywood constantly plans remakes and sequels

I wholeheardtedly believe that Shakespeare is the theatrical community's equivalent of Hollywood and the sequel.

And I guess i'm mostly just anti-Hamlet at this point.

but to understand my feelings here it probably helps to know that I'm just not a repetitive view of anything. Even though i love movies I rarely watch any of them more than a few times whereas most movie fanatics i know can put in their favorites on endless replay.

I just can't. it's not in me somehow. I need long breaks between viewings.

but two more things.

I AGREE with your point that this is hypocritical of me since i don't always support the non-shakespeare efforts financially but in my defense i am very very very poor so i only go to what is free, what I'm offered for free, or what i manage to get into at heavy discounts.

I DISAGREE with your stat roundup since only citing Broadway productions doesn't even begin to tell the complete story of NYC theater.


and by "repetitive view" I meant "repetitive viewer"

Arkaan said...

Oh, I agree, citing only Broadway doesn't give an accurate picture at all. But I'd argue that the skewed picture we get from those Broadway stats actually goes against your argument of all Shakespeare, all the time. I'd have to check more thoroughly, though.

Arkaan said...

But I'm also your opposite. I can see anything I love a lot.


yes i probably should have been more clear on that "repetitive viewing" isn't my thing way back when. it would explain some things ;)

for example. I think i've seen west side story, star wars, the breakfast club and the wizard of oz more than just about any other movies (for various reasons) but I haven't seen any of those even 20 times. And I'm always hearing people say they've watched their favorites 40+ times (or more)

and i only very rarely see anything thrice in the movie theater during its first run.

Darren Z said...

From most articles I read, Jude Law got rave and positive reviews from theater critics and all blogger. I think he's naturally stage actor.
I definitely look forward to watching this live on stage.
thanks for the info.

Anonymous said...

I saw Jude Law as Hamlet in London. I must admit I love Shakespeare´s works, but I wasn´t a fan of Jude Law, although every film I´ve seen with him, he was very convincing in. Having seen him on stage really convinced me about his talent and skills. It was a great delight to see his interpretation of the Danish prince.... but I could never get tired of good Shakespeare performances.

Imogen said...

I saw Jude Law as Hamlet at the Wyndham´s theatre in London very recently. I must admit I love Shakespeare´s works, but I wasn´t a fan of Jude Law. Just curious. However I couldn´t name a film he wasn´t good in, but having seen him on stage really convinced me about his talent and skills. It was a great delight to see his interpretation of the Danish prince.... but I could never get tired of good Shakespeare performances.

TaylorSwift said...

Hamlet is one of my favourite theatre shows. I know all the scenes by heart so it was nice to remember again in your post. Thanks for bringing back some fond memories about Hamlet . This weekend I’m going to visit my sister and I've compared tickets prices tix for free before via this:
So I'll be analyzing as well as enjoying the show.