ANNA MARIA – Every once in a while an actor finds that perfect role, or is it the role that finds that perfect actor? That’s what happens in “I Hate Hamlet” by Paul Rudnick, now playing at the Island Players, when James Thaggard plays the ghost of John Barrymore.
His over-the-top performance was wonderful and it was contagious as the rest of the cast was brilliant to match Thaggard’s energy.
The special effects were perfect, especially as Barrymore’s ghost exposed his presence to most of the characters, but not all.
Brian Dewey was great as Andrew Rally, a Los Angeles actor who moves to New York on the advice of his agent, Lillian Troy, played brilliantly by Caroline Cox, after his television show is canceled.
He feels down on his luck as his girlfriend, Dierdre McDavey, played sweetly by Katherine Dye, won’t have sex with him until she knows he’s the one she wants to spend the rest of her life with. But he is unsure of his future because he has accepted the role of Hamlet, and he’s not too fond of Shakespeare.
His real estate agent, Felicia Dantine, played by Caroline Zaput, finds him an apartment that was once owned by John Barrymore, who was known for his great portrayal of Hamlet.
Dantine is also a medium, and they try to communicate with him, but when it seemingly fails, everyone goes their own way, but Barrymore finally appears to Rally.
The final character is Gary Peter Lefkowitz, played perfectly by Brian Dewey. He’s a laid back L.A.-style actor who comes to New York with a lucrative offer for Rally, a television show back on the West Coast.
Barrymore, however, wants Rally to do Hamlet, and with flare, he tries to convince him to do real acting, not inane television shows.
The play is delightful with few lulls in the action, and as for Thaggart’s performance, we think Barrymore would be very impressed.
For tickets or information, call 941-778-5755.