When Hamlet in Bed, a newest work currently being performed at the Rattlestick Playwrights Theatre, got a great write up in Time Out New York, I decided, what the hell, and I went to see it. Time Out is pretty much where I go for all of my off-Broadway recs (besides friends). I thought it would be a reinterpretation of Hamlet but I was completely off base. 

Hamlet in Bed was about a mother and son who didn’t know it. Michael Laurence, the star and playwright, played Michael, an actor and orphan, who has an obsession with Hamlet (the play) and is sold the journal of a woman, Ana (played by Annette O’Toole), who Ophelia in 1975. The journal ends with an entry saying that her son was born on the day that happens to be his birthday and she gave him up for adoption.

He finds her and casts her as Gertrude, Hamlet’s mother, in his adaptation of Hamlet called Hamlet in Bed. The play is dark and twisted, and a bit confusing. Ana has a hallucination (of sorts) once Michael tells her who he is after three weeks of deceiving her.

Hamlet in Bed is a quick 90 minutes and it’s interesting and eerie, especially if you know Hamlet. If you like off the beaten path theatre, head downtown and check it out.

The Rattlestick Playwright’s Theater has be consistently producing interesting and quite good stuff this season. I read a little bit about The Few, written by Samuel D. Hunter and directed by Davis McCallum, in Time Out New York recently and then finally got around to see it last night.

About a man, Bryant, who abandoned his newspaper printed for truckers in Oregon, and a woman, QZ, he asked to marry him, four years prior when he comes back and asks for his answer (will you marry me or not?). The paper is totally different from how he left it and there’s a new person on the very small staff of two, Matthew (who is, of course, superbly awkward).

It was 95 minutes and I was only bored for one moment towards the end, when it seemed like there was nothing else to really happen anymore. The acting by Michael Laurence, Tasha Lawrence, and Gideon Glick were all spot-on, which is necessary when you have such a small cast. 

To be honest, this play is really depressing. But I also really enjoyed it.