Driftwood Players

"I Hate Hamlet" Feb. - March 2001

By Paul Rudnick, Directed by Gary Morean

From Left: Ron Rogers: (Andrew Rally) Nina Morean: (Felicia Dantine) Suzy Laird: (Deirdra McDavey) Geri Reynolds: (Lillian Troy)

Keith Krueger: (John Barrymore) Art Blauvelt: (Gary Peter Lefkowitz) Ron Rogers: (Andrew Rally)


Ron Rogers, Suzy Laird


Keith Krueger, Ron Rogers

Geri Reynolds, Keith Krueger


Ron Rogers, Suzy Laird

Ron Rogers, Keith Krueger, Suzy Laird

Ron Rogers, Keith Krueger

Pictures by
Jones Photo Co.

From The Daily World, Friday, February 16, 2001

Thoroughly enjoyable 'I Hate Hamlet' on stage at Driftwood Playhouse in Aberdeen

By Val Jester
Daily World Correspondent

    Handsome television star Andrew Rally (Ron Rogers) has it all. Star of a popular daytime soap opera, his fame is "five stories high and six zeroes wide."

    But rally is determined to prove himself a "real" actor in the theater and leaves Hollywood for New York. Amazingly, he lands the main role of Hamlet in a production of Shakespeare in Central park.

    He is plagued by doubts about his ability to do justice to the role most actors covet when a real estate agent (Nina Morean) rents him the former apartment of the famous John Barrymore.

    Surrounded by the dramatic fixtures and furnishings of his idol, he loses his nerve completely and decides to turn down the role of a lifetime.

    Although coerced and cajoled by his agent (Geri Reynolds) and starry-eyed girlfriend (Suzy Laird) to take the part, he is tempted by a lucrative television deal offered by a shallow and self-absorbed Hollywood producer (Art Blauvelt).

    Enter the ghost of John Barrymore, perhaps the greatest American Hamlet in history, in full Shakespearean garb. As it turns out, the ghost (played by Keith Krueger) is part of an otherworldly club of famous Hamlet performers who are sent to couch promising newcomers for the role.

    Against his will, Rally commits to doing the play since this is the only way Barrymore can be released from being a ghost. That and the fact that Barrymore assures him he is destined to be the greatest Hamlet of his generation.

    This is the hilarious plot of "I Hate Hamlet," currently on stage at Driftwood Playhouse in Aberdeen. Directed by Gary Morean and assistant directed by Susan Straka, this comedy is full of beautiful one-liners. (Barrymore to his indecisive charge: "I am dead and I shall be for all time, but I still don't have all day.")

    Add to that the fine performances of the cast and some dramatic fencing scenes (with real foils, what fun!) and you have a thoroughly enjoyable play.

    Paul Rudnick, the playwright, is also a novelist and screenwriter: A humorist who has written for the likes of Lily Tomlin and Bette Midler, Rudnick began his career as a journalist. But as he told an interviewer, "I could never sticks to the facts. If someone couldn't come up with a snappy last line for me to end the story with, I'd just make one up."

    Gratifyingly, he turned his talent toward playwriting and made his Broadway debut with "I Hate Hamlet."

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