Sunday, March 3, 2019

Gertrude and Claudius at the Shakes

Gertrude and Claudius based on the novel written by John Updike and adapted by Mark St. Germain, acts as a prequel to Hamlet. I had just sketched Hamlet the earlier in the month. The set remained the same, being a royal castle in Denmark. This play began with a royal wedding between King Amieth (Kenny Babel) and Gertrude (Paige Lindsey White). The king was a man with unsubtle tastes and ways but a true love for his queen. On their wedding night be fell fast asleep as the queen got ready for bed.

There was trouble in paradise as the queen felt she lost her identity with her royal responsibilities and she was actually frightened of her son, Hamlet (Junior Nyong' o). In this play, Hamlet had a very small part to play. This play was about the queen and how she was seduced by the king's brother, Claudius (Gene Gillette). As the queen felt more confined, the brothers letters from far away lands helped her imagine a life of freedom.

The infamous couple serve as the villains in Shakespeare’s work, but are offered a new exposition in this tale of good intentions and family dysfunction. With ominous hints at the familiar story to come, Gertrude and Claudius is a play that shakes up what you thought you knew about the royal couple. It is a classic tale of guilt and revenge.

This was a more modern production as well, without the flowery language of Shakespeare. There were also many moments of levity, acting as a stark contrast to the brooding Hamlet that would follow. Though Hamlet is a classic, this play is far easier to digest. If you have a chance to see both plays, go and see Gertrude and Claudius first and follow that on another night with Hamlet.

Remaining show times are:
Thursday, February 28, 2019 - 7:30 PM
Friday, March 1, 2019 - 7:30 PM
Wednesday, March 6, 2019 - 2:00 PM
Wednesday, March 6, 2019 - 7:30 PM
Saturday, March 9, 2019 - 7:30 PM
Sunday, March 10, 2019 - 2:00 PM - Talk back Performance
Wednesday, March 13, 2019 - 2:00 PM
Friday, March 15, 2019 - 7:30 PM
Saturday, March 16, 2019 - 2:00 PM
Friday, March 22, 2019 - 7:30 PM
Saturday, March 23, 2019 - 2:00 PM
Tickets are $30 to $53

Prints are available for each sketch for $250 and many originals can be purchased for $400. White museum grade shadow box frames are $100 more. You can e-mail Thor at

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