New York theatregoers who felt slighted by the Boston-Minneapolis Arizona trajectory of the Simon Russell Beale Hamlet's U.S. tour can breath easy now. The acclaimed London production has found a New York home at — where else? — the Brooklyn Academy of Music. Hamlet will play five performances May 30-June 2 at the Howard Gilman Opera House.
The itinerary begins in Boston, where Hamlet will play April 11-22 at the Wilbur Theatre. The tour then continues as follows:
• May 2-13: Guthrie Theatre in Minneapolis
• May 16-20: Temple of Music and Art, Arizona Theatre Company, Tucson
• May 22-27: Herberger Theater Center, Arizona Theatre Company, Phoenix
This production of Hamlet is directed by John Caird, who worked with Beale with great success in 1999 on Money and Candide, both at the Royal National Theatre in London. The latter won an Olivier for Best Musical Production and earned Beale another Olivier for Best Actor in a Musical.
Beale's Hamlet played the RNT's Lyttelton Theatre in late summer and fall of 2000. Prior to that run, the production ran a week at the Hamlet Summer Festival in Elsinore, Denmark, on Aug. 14. There, it was performed in the open-air courtyard of Kronborg Castle, the very place where Shakespeare chose to set the play. By performing Hamlet at Elsinore, Beale followed in the footsteps of John Gielgud and Laurence Olivier (who played the role there in 1937). Beale's previous Shakespeare roles include Iago in Othello for the National, and Richard III (title role), Thersites in Troilus and Cressida and Ariel in The Tempest for the RSC. His other work for the National includes Summerfolk, Battle Royal and Volpone.
The distinguished cast of Hamlet also features Cathryn Bradshaw (as Ophelia), Sara Kestelman (Gertrude) and Peter McEnery (Claudius).
Tickets for the Boston run are $25-$75. For more information, call (617) 931-2787.
—By Robert Simonson