OVERVIEW PLOT DESCRIPTION OF I HATE HAMLET A young and successful LA television actor relocates to New York, where he rents a marvelous, gothic apartment. Andrew Rally seems to have it all: celebrity and acclaim from his starring role in a hit television series; a rich, beautiful girlfriend; a glamorous, devoted agent; the perfect New York apartment; and the chance to play Hamlet in Central Park. There are, however, a few glitches in paradise: Andrew's series has been canceled; his girlfriend is clinging to her virginity with unyielding conviction; and he hates Hamlet. When Andrew's agent visits him, she reminisces about her brief romance with John Barrymore many years ago, in Andrew's own apartment. This prompts a seance to summon his ghost. The contrast between the two actors, the towering, dissipated Barrymore whose Hamlet was the greatest of his time, and Andrew Rally, hot young television star, leads to a wildly funny duel over women, art, success, duty, television, and yes, the apartment. As Andrew wrestles with his conscience, Barrymore, and his sword, the laughs are nonstop. "…fast-mouthed and funny…It has the old-fashioned Broadway virtues of brightness without pretensions and sentimentality without morals."--Village Voice."…unapologetically silly and at times hilarious … affectionately amusing about the theatre…" —NY Times. Adapted from Dramatists’ Play Service website
CHARACTERS Please note: Age ranges are approximate. Actors need not be that age range to play the part. Felicia Dantine (25-50): Andrew Rally's eccentric real estate broker, Felicia Dantine, claims to be a medium who can speak to the dead; however, her séance arranged to speak with the ghost of Barrymore appears on the surface to have been a failure. Andrew Rally (20’s-35): Young and popular, Andrew Rally is a television actor and star of a recently canceled soap opera. He just moved from Los Angeles to New York City, where he will soon be playing Hamlet on stage. He is both overwhelmed and chagrined by the challenge, because it is the stage, not Hollywood, and because it is perhaps the most difficult role ever written. However, he has unwittingly moved into the apartment of the deceased John Barrymore, perhaps the greatest Shakespearean actor who ever lived.
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Deirdre McDavey (younger than Rally; 20-30): Attractive and emotional, Deirdre McDavey is Rally's girlfriend. She is committed, much to his frustration, to "saving herself" until they are married. Lillian Troy (50’s-70’s): Rally's agent, Lillian Troy, is an older woman who remembers fondly an affair she had with John Barrymore many years ago, in the apartment in which Rally now lives. John Barrymore (late 20’s-50): A legendary actor who was incredibly talented and strikingly handsome in his heyday, John Barrymore, or, rather, his ghost, is a dominant presence that fills any room or stage he enters. Barrymore’s ghost is still quite active (in many ways) and appears in order to help Rally develop the nuances necessary to both acting and love. The spirit shows us Barrymore at the height of his powers. (The real John Barrymore was an American stage and screen actor, born in 1882, whose meteoric rise to superstardom and subsequent decline is one of the legendary tragedies of Hollywood. By 1922, he became his generation's most acclaimed Hamlet, in both New York and London. Having been a heavy drinker since his teens, however, Barrymore grew old before his time. His looks degraded and a caricature of himself, he died at age 60 in 1942 of pneumonia & cirrhosis of the liver.) Gary Peter Lefkowitz (30’s-50’s): A cocky, pompous television producer, Gary Peter Lefkowitz gave Rally his first big break. He wants Rally to move back to Los Angeles to film a new television series and can't understand why the young man isn't jumping at the chance.
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