By Kelly Pivarnik
Not being a theatre connoisseur, I was unaware of the student rush tickets Broadway sells for $35, which is honestly a very reasonable bargain, being that the next cheapest ticket sells for $125. Given that this deal was also obtainable for Hamlet starring Jude Law was even more incredible. For the most part, the tickets are readily available at the Broadhurst Theatre throughout the day as long as you have your student I.D.
I was never a Jude Law fan, but I found him to be fantastic as Hamlet with great comedic timing. Though the play received mixed reviews, most critics agree that Law was successful in conveying internal turmoil and a rapid descent into madness. His performance, for lack of a better word, was very theatrical in that he relied mainly on hand gestures and body language to convey Hamlet’s dueling emotions. Some reviews felt this was a brash interpretation lacking Shakespeare’s intended poetic tone, and that Law’s performance would have been better off a bit more coy and subtle. Yet his over the top antics helped audience members whom are not fluent in Elizabethan english better understand the humor and emotions occurring onstage.
Also notable was Ron Cook’s performance as Polonius. His delivery of the character’s dead pan humor brought much levity to Shakespeare’s tragedy and was clearly a hit with the audience. If Cook’s depiction was anything less, Shakespeare’s wit would have more than likely gone over the audience’s head, mainly those audience members who have not intensely studied Shakespeare (i.e. me). Most critics overall deemed the rest of the cast’s performance as flat and colorless.
The set was intentionally simple as well as the costumes, which were far from elaborate. Director Michael Grandageand and Set and Costume Designer Gugu Mbatha-Raw seem to have made this choice to emphasize the actors’ already melodramatic performances.
The opportunity to see a famous actor on Broadway for cheap is honestly pretty amazing. Hamlet will be playing on Broadway until early December. Law plans to star in Dr. Faustus and Death of a Salesman also on Broadway.