The acclaimed London production of the Simon Russell Beale Hamlet will continue its five-stop U.S. tour by heading due south to the Arizona Theatre Company's Temple of Music and Art in Tucson, AZ. The John Caird directed production, which began its American jaunt in Boston, ended a run at the Guthrie Theatre on May 13.
The Tucson stay lasts May 16-20. Hamlet will then journey to ATC headquarters in Phoenix for a May 22-27 run. After that, it's east to the Brooklyn Academy of Music.
Caird 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).
New York theatregoers who felt slighted by the original Boston Minneapolis-Arizona trajectory of the U.S. tour breathed a sigh of relief when a New York engagement was announced several weeks back. Hamlet will play five performances May 30-June 2 at the Howard Gilman Opera House in the Brooklyn Academy of Music.
The itinerary goes as follows:
• May 16-20: Temple of Music and Art, Arizona Theatre Company, Tucson
• May 22-27: Herberger Theater Center, Arizona Theatre Company, Phoenix
• May 30-June 2, the Brooklyn Academy of Music
Tickets for the Boston run are $25-$75. For more information, call (617) 931-2787.
—By Robert Simonson