The Public Theater will conclude its current production of Hamlet on Jan. 9. The production has a hard time of it almost from the start, when the show's opening was delayed a week due to problems with the set. Soon after opening, to particularly negative reviews, star Diane Venora, cast as Gertrude, fell seriously ill, causing some performances to be canceled. Venora rarely joined the cast for the remainder of the run.
Obviously, the third time acting Hamlet was not a charm for Venora, who, in 1982, played Hamlet himself in a staging directed by Joseph Papp, and, in 1990, she played Ophelia opposite Kevin Kline, who also directed.
Liev Schreiber (of cable's "RKO 281," the feature film "A Walk on the Moon" and The Public's Cymbeline and Macbeth) played the tragic title character, with Colm Feore ("The Insider" and an alum of Ontario's Stratford Festival) as Claudius. Andrei Serban directed.
Tickets ($45) are available at The Public Theater box office, 425 Lafayette Street in Manhattan, or by calling (212) 239 6200.
--By Robert Simonson