HAMLET ...Hamlet Shut Up is perhaps the best FringeNYC comedy I have ever had the extreme pleasure of attending. The notion is simple: you know Hamlet well enough to be able to understand it with zero dialogue, right? So why bother with Shakespeare's tedious poetry when it simply keeps Hamlet from being the tight, satirical, hysterical laugh fest Shakespeare probably never (but apparently very much should have) intended?
And then everybody dies.
Armed with a piano player who is adept at sliding from Chaplin-esque pieces to Unchained Melody to the Theme From Jaws, Director Jonas Oppenheim and the Sacred Fools Theater Company of Los Angeles fast track it through a version of Shakespeare's masterpiece where Ophelia needs an exorcism, giant sharks attack on land, Poor Yorick is a master juggler, and a hiding Polonius is given away due to a particularly annoying cellphone ring.
Not to make HAMLET SHUT UP sound like it is simply full of random jokes however; the show takes a cue from silent theater while shoving in enough hysterical moments to easily fill 90 minutes without even for a moment sagging or rehashing already-treaded ground. At least a few times through the play I laughed out loud in amazement, shock, and genuine concern for the twisted things this group was able to devise. From the moment Hamlet finds a dirty, smelly fish in a bucket labeled "Denmark" to the final appearance of the land-walking shark, you're sure to enjoy Hamlet Shut Up.
VENUE #5: The First Floor Theatre @ LA MAMA
Sat 14 @ 8:30 Mon 16 @ 2:30 Wed 18 @ 9:45 Fri 20 @ 8:15 Sat 21 @ 2:30