It's Easy To Love

Before you know anything else about this production, know this: this play is a comedy!  In fact, I Hate Hamlet had Broadway audiences rolling in the aisles during its short, but illustrious, run in 1991. The Broadway-caliber production comes to life onstage at the Arts Center of Coastal Carolina this February, featuring a handsome but high-maintenance LA TV actor who is haunted by the ghost of legendary American Shakespearean actor John Barrymore, who played the role of Hamlet to great critical and audience acclaim.

This modern-day actor, Andrew Rally [played by Ethan Saks], seems to have it all: fame from his starring role in a hit television series; a wealthy, gorgeous girlfriend [Amelia Mathews as Deirdre McDavey]; a no-nonsense, devoted agent [Jane Ridley as Lillian Troy]; a resplendent, Gothic-style New York apartment; and the opportunity to play Hamlet in Central Park. There are, however, a few problems in this seemingly perfect scenario: Andrew's TV show has been canceled, his girlfriend is adamantly and frustratingly clinging to her virginity, and further, he has absolutely no desire to play this most-famous Shakespearean role.

When Andrew's agent pays him a visit, she waxes nostalgic about her brief romantic dalliance with John Barrymore [James Donadio] many years ago, in Andrew's very own apartment. This startling revelation prompts a sÈance [led by Marina Re as the free-spirited psychic and broker Felicia Dantine] to summon Barrymore's ghost.

And return he does, dressed in head-to-toe Shakespearean finery, with some very definite and vocal ideas on what Andrew should do with his life. Animated by both champagne and bravado, the larger-than-afterlife Barrymore urges Andrew to accept the part of Hamlet and face his theatrical fate. The action becomes even more hilarious with the entrance of Andrew's deal-making friend from LA [Brad DePlanche as Gary Peter Lefkowitz], dispensing a laid-back west coast lexicon and offering Andrew an enticing new TV deal worth millions. The laughs are nonstop as Andrew battles with his conscience, his sword, Barrymore, and the fact that he hates Hamlet.

"I Hate Hamlet is a witty, fun show full of slick one-liners," said Andrea Gannon, vice president of marketing for the Arts Center of Coastal Carolina. "There's even a love triangle that ensues as the lecherous Barrymore tries to lure the lovely, virtuous Deidre away from Andrew. It's very cleverly done! Our talented cast is composed of six brilliant actors, directed by Russell Treyz." Treyz was at the helm of The Unexpected Guest shown last fall at the Arts Center, holding dozens of directorial credits from New York to California. "Not only is this a wonderfully delightful comedy, but it also has heart and warmth. The decision of whether or not to accept the role of Hamlet becomes a metaphor for Andrew's fear of taking chances."

Don't you take a chance and miss this show because we're certain you'll love I Hate Hamlet. The production runs from February 5-24 at the Arts Center, and tickets are available now: $44 for adults and $31 for children, and may be purchased by visiting or by calling the box office, 843-842-ARTS or toll free at 888-860-2787. Group rates for ten or more are available and are accompanied by two free tickets! 

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