Allentown Shakespeare in the Park is performing Hamlet, starting tonight, Thursday, August 11th, and continuing through Saturday, August 13, 2016. Admission is free, for the ninth row in a year, to see the professionally staged show at Daddona Park, Union and St. Elmo Street (in west Allentown). The lawn is terraced, and the audience is welcome to bring lawn chairs and/or blankets, as well as a picnic lunch or dinner.
According to today’s Morning Call newspaper;
(Founder, and producer, Sarah Steele) Steele says the production is set in contemporary “upper-crust WASP society” in New England. The production also shows the wedding of Claudius and Gertrude, which happened two months before the play starts.
…She says the plays starts with a lavish outdoor wedding with tents and candles.
She says the characters are members of “a privileged group of people who wear seersucker and boat shoes.” Costumes are by Elizabeth Barrett Groth.
She says the play also features a lot of music. Ophelia, played by Lenne Klingamen, sings nearly her entire mad scene. The music was written by composer John Glover, who collaborated with Pearson on “Lucy,” a world premiere opera about early man.
Steele says Shakespeare’s longest play has been trimmed (honing in on the relationships) to 100 minutes so it can be done without an intermission.
I’ve attended several Allentown Shakespeare in Park productions over the years and, despite the heat and occasional mosquitoes, have always had a wonderful time and enjoyed a high quality show. And this year sounds like another winner to me.
The show is held rain or shine at 8 p.m. on Thursday night and Friday night, and at 2 p.m. and 8 p.m. on Saturday. Live music is performed for an hour in the park, before the curtain rises.