Hamlet at The Temple Theater

hamletposter03I went to see Hamlet at the Temple Theater tonight.  I’m not really sure why I decided to go tonight – it wasn’t in the plans – I was trying to decide which matinee I was going to attend while it is running and then talk some friends into going with me.  But, I got home from work, took care of the girls, and about 6:30, I just decided to go tonight – no time for dinner or to see who might be able to join me!!!  The show starts at 8:00, so I changed clothes, freshened up, and headed out! 

I’m really glad I went tonight – they had a HUGE crowd – the house was almost completely full!!!  It was a thrill to see so many people filing in to see the show!  The last several shows I’ve been to were barely 1/2 full….I don’t know if it was the show that attracted them or if it was all the publicity and promotion they have had lately because the Temple is struggling and may close its doors if things don’t pick up!!!  It doesn’t matter what brought them in – they were there – that’s all that matters!!!  And it was a wonderful sight!!!

I have to admit, when I read the season line up this year, I originally didn’t plan to go to Hamlet!  I really enjoy Shakespeare and, although I was sure the Temple would put on an incredible production, it breaks my heart to see alternate interpretations and I just wasn’t sure what to expect.  I much prefer to see Shakespeare the way Shakespeare intended it!  Then, when I went to the Winter Wonderettes, Peggy Taphorn talked about the production and the use of high tech special effects, etc. and I’ve heard a lot about it in the past week — so, I had to see for myself and just hope that it wasn’t too far “out there”!!!

That said……I found this production to be very enjoyable!!!  Yep – they modernized it – instead of period costumes, they wore updated clothing, read messages on cell phones, carried modern guns, and looked like anyone you might run into on the street.  The language was, for the most part, old English, as it should be, which made the clothing and stuff even more out of place.  That bothered me, but absolutely didn’t ruin it for me!!!  The technology used to enhance the experience, while fairly bazaar a couple of times, was really incredible!!!  While this sounds like I must have had major mixed feelings, I really didn’t — I thought it was very well done!!  I just feel I should include the points that “could” have really spoiled it, if it wasn’t so good as a whole – just to make the point that it WAS so good!!!

So – what made it so good that I was able to overlook the things that I usually take much more issue with? 

  1. THE ACTING!!!!  It was incredible!!!  I can’t even single out any actors over the others – they were ALL so talented and did amazing jobs!!!  They had me totally engaged in the characters!!!
  2. The second half — the first half was good, but the second half soared!!! 
  3. The wait for the show to start — I got there early enough to be one of the first to enter the theater and sit in my seat!  When I entered, the room was smokey and dim with very eerie, dark, sinister music playing!  Then I noticed the men walking around the stage and aisles with rifles and dark clothing – the King’s guards walking their posts watching for suspicious activity!  It was very strange and set a really cool mood for the people entering the show!!!

The Temple’s Hamlet is amazing — you really need to go see for yourself!!!  Take note, though, that if I enjoyed it this much despite the things that usually irritate me, it HAD to be good!!!  ha-ha-ha

Go see it — support the Temple Theater — get attendance up and keep the Temple open so that we can all enjoy the rest of the season and know that more seasons will follow!!!  It is a true treasure for our community — let’s make sure it doesn’t end here!!!  Do what you can to help!  You won’t regret it!!!

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