I’ve been so tired and busy I haven’t even posted about Dave and I seeing Hamlet at Cal Shakes on opening night Friday before last. In spite of the fact that it is a totally kickass production. There are a number of rather bewildering things about this production, first and foremost being the fact that the set seems to be an abandoned urban public swimming pool, empty and littered with discarded pieces of furniture and other items. However, it isn’t long after the play began that I was so blown away by the force and clarity of the performances that I didn’t care much any more about the inscrutable parts.
LeRoy McClain as Hamlet and Zainab Jah as Ophelia as just amazingly good. Liesl Tommy’s direction — once you accept and get past the fact that it’s a swimming pool and you have no idea why — is sharp and full of inventive choices, and it keeps the story intense and clear.