Dorset Theatre Festival will stage I Hate Hamlet, a hilarious play by Obie Award winning playwright and pre-eminent humorist Paul Rudnick. The production will be directed by Carl Andress and will run from August 20th to September 5th, 2015.
The play tells the story of Andrew Rally, a rising Hollywood star who has just accepted the role of Hamlet at New York’s Shakespeare in the Park, leading his agent to think he’s gone daft. With advice coming from unexpected directions, including none other than the ghost of the great actor John Barrymore, Andrew is left to decide between Shakespeare and the fame and fortune of a television career.
The cast features stars of Broadway and Beyond, including David Lansbury as the renowned John Barrymore, who recently finished shooting the film Valley Inn, directed by Chris Spencer, after a year-long run in Broadway’s War Horse. His film credits include Michael Clayton and Scent of a Woman, and Broadway credits include Hedda Gabler, Major Barbara and The Heidi Chronicles. JD Taylor, who plays Andrew Rally, recently starred in The Understudy at McCarter Theatre, and Rich Girl at the Old Globe. He originated the role of Ed in the World Premiere of Ed, Downloaded at the Denver Center Theatre. Playing Gary Peter Lefkowitz is Benjamin Pelteson, who received a Barrymore Award nomination for his role in Angels in America at the Wilma Theatre.
Hayley Bond, a regional favorite for her roles in Weston Playhouse Theatre’ s productions of Vanya and Sonya and Masha and Spike, The Marvelous Wondrettes, Caps n’ Gowns, and Saint Ex, plays Deirdre McDavey. Annie Meisels plays Felicia Dantine. She has performed in Next Fall at Playwrights Horizons, Breaking the Code at Barrington Stage, and Mrs. Warrens Profession at Alliance Theatre, as well as Law and Order, Blue Bloods and As the World Turns. Rounding out the cast as Lillian Troy is Carole Monferdini, a founding member of the Abingdon Theatre Company, and Obie Award winner for her role as Freddie the Bachelor in The Club at Circle-In-The-Square.
Playwright Paul Rudnick is a frequent contributor to The New Yorker whose plays include Jeffrey, The Most Fabulous Story Ever Told, Valhalla, Regrets Only and The New Century. He has won an Obie Award, two Outer Critics Circle Awards and the John Gassner Playwriting Award. His novels include Social Disease and I’ll Take It, both from Knopf. Rudnick’s screenplays include In & Out, the screen adaptation of Jeffrey, and Addams Family Values.
Director Carl Andress is an acclaimed director whose credits include the world premieres of Charles Busch’s critically acclaimed comedies The Tribute Artist at Primary Stages and The Divine Sister at Soho Playhouse, as well as The Third Story starring Kathleen Turner (MCC Theater, La Jolla Playhouse); Judith of Bethulia (Theater for the New City); Bunnicula the Musical (DR2 Theater, TheaterWorks USA) and Shanghai Moon (Drama Dept., Bay Street Theater). Carl is also the co-writer and costar of the independent feature, A Very Serious Person, an official selection at the Tribeca Film Festival.
Special Event programming for this production includes a post-show talk-back with the cast and creative team following the matinee on August 22nd. Ticket prices range from $20- $49 for adults. Student tickets are $20 and youth (12 and under) pay only $8 for any performance. For more information and details about these and other special events at the Playhouse, call 802-867-2223 or visit dorsettheatrefestival.org.