HAMLET at Antaeus Theatre Company – Gia On The Move


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By Tracey Paleo, Gia On The Move

Copyright © 2022 Gia On The Move

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It is a badass, nail-biting event akin to a Celebrity Death Match of iambic pentameter gone wild as Ramón de Ocampo takes the stage in the lead role as the Prince of Denmark.  Never – have you seen Antaeus Theatre Company quite like this. 

Directed by Elizabeth Swain, this presentation of Shakespeare’s HAMLET is solid and rather off the Richter scale.  And even though some of the actors are a bit weaker in this production, it is, [and thank you sweet baby J!] hands down THE clearest, most accessible delivery of a Shakespeare text in [my] living memory.

The set is minimal.  The stage is mostly dark.  The atmosphere, decidedly tense.  And yet, there is often levity – mostly delivered by Peter Van Norden who pulls out all the stops as Polonius and additionally double-cast as the Gravedigger.  Van Norden dives so deep into the text that he has managed to illuminate even offshoot pieces of it that most often, in other productions, don’t make sense, except that you’ve now heard them nuanced brilliantly from his lips.  Joel Swetow does the same as he delivers every important speech even in his more minor roles on stage as Marcellus/First Player/Captain.  Gertrude, in addition, is empathetically played by a very strong Veralyn Jones.

de Ocampo, here, is singularly brilliant.  He attacks the work with ferocity.  Moving slowly at first, then gradually intensifying to reach the apex of the drama at a fever pitch and landing the finale with a powerful crescendo. 

Even with any flaws that could be pointed out, Antaeus Theatre Company’s HAMLET really couldn’t be a better production for the company, a better introduction to the work itself for first-timers as well as aficionados and for Los Angeles classical theater overall.  It is a truly triumphant piece of work.

Antaeus Theatre Company presents a new production of Hamlet, with Shakespearean expert Elizabeth Swain at the helm and long-time company member Ramón de Ocampo in the title role. Following the death of his father, Hamlet, Prince of Denmark, returns home to find his uncle now occupies the throne and the queen’s bed. Spurred by the ghost of his father and surrounded by spies, Hamlet must choose between moral integrity and vengeance.

Written by William Shakespeare

Directed Elizabeth Swain

Starring Gregg T. Daniel, Ramón de Ocampo, Sally Hughes, Veralyn Jones, Michael Kirby, Lloyd Roberson II, Adam J. Smith, Joel Swetow, Jeanne Syquia, Peter Van Norden

Sponsored in part by Rosemary A. Hernandez
Presented by Antaeus Theatre Company

Previews: May 15 – May 19
Performances: May 20 – June 20
• Tuesday at 8 p.m.: May 17 ONLY (preview)
• Wednesday at 8 p.m.: May 18 ONLY (preview)
• Thursday at 8 p.m.: May 19 ONLY (preview)
• Fridays at 8 p.m.: May 20 (Opening), May 27, June 3, June 10, June 17
• Saturdays at 2 p.m.: May 28, June 4, June 11, June 18 (no matinee on Saturday, May 21)
• Saturdays at 8 p.m.: May 21, May 28, June 4, June 11, June 18
• Sundays at 2 p.m.: May 15 (preview), May 22, May 29, June 5, June 12, June 19
• Mondays at 8 p.m.: June 6, June 13, June 20 (dark May 23 and May 30)


Kiki & David Gindler Performing Arts Center
110 East Broadway
Glendale, CA 91205
(between N. Brand Blvd. and Artsakh Ave.)
First 90 minutes free, then $2 per hour in Glendale Marketplace garage located at 120 S. Artsakh Ave. (between Broadway and Harvard)

• All performances (reserved seating): $40
• Previews: $20HOW:
(818) 506-1983 or www.Antaeus.org

Photo (above)by Jenny Graham: Ramón de Ocampo as Hamlet

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