There have been many incarnations of Shakespeare's Hamlet, from Tom Stoppard's The Fifteen Minute Hamlet to Heiner Muller's Hamletmachine to numerous film versions starring Mel Gibson to Kenneth Branagh to Ethan Hawke. Among the myriad of homages, add Charles Ludlam's Stage Blood which runs at New York City's The Red Room at KGB Nov. 9-Dec. 3.
In this satirical comedy, a traveling theater family called "The Caucasian Theatrical Company," tried to put up the Bard classic amid backstage drama. This play-within-a play (with a play-within-a-play) has a motley cast of characters, including a drunken classical actor, an in-the-closet leading man, a grande damme, a fresh-faced young man, and a star-struck ingenue.
Michael Goldfried (Sexotheque) directs this Ludlam play that has not been revived since the original production in 1975. Ludlam, who founded the Ridiculous Theatre Company, also wrote The Mystery of Irma Vep.
The real cast includes Marshall Correro, Nate Levine, Michael Nathanson, Dara Seitzman, Jessica Smith and Bob Yarnall. The show also features lights by Steven Shelly, sets by Heidi Meisenhelder, costumes by T. Michael Hall, sound by Adam Brown, and props by Adrienne Gusoff.
For tickets to Stage Blood, playing at The Red Room, 85 East 4th St. (Between Bowery and 2nd Ave.), call (212) 539-7686. — by Ernio Hernandez