William Shakespeare’s famous tragedy “Hamlet,” a play in two acts, opened at the Broadhurst Theatre on October 6 for a limited 12-week engagement, ending December 6.
This transfer of the Donmar Warehouse’s production, directed by Michael Grandage, has sustained a modest turnout through its previews as audiences gather to see British actor Jude Law play the Prince of Denmark. Law follows in the footsteps of Laurence Olivier, Richard Burton, John Gielgud and Kenneth Branagh.
The play opened on Broadway on October 6 following a successful 12-week run in London where it began. That run was followed by six performances in the authentic setting of Elsinore, Denmark. Most of the London and Elsinore cast are in the current production.
Law was last seen on Broadway in 1995 in a production of the Tony Award-nominated “Indiscretions.” However, many critics have found fault with his most recent turn as the Prince of Denmark, which most reviewers have found heavy-handed and too-literal.
Despite any critically-found flaws, the play’s attendance has steadily increased over the course of its preview weeks, though still resting well below-capacity for the 1,186-seat Broadhurst. Previews began September 12, with ticket prices ranging from $23.50 to $115.00. According to the Broadway League, this last week of previews saw accumulated sales of $624,358 for the modern-dress production.
Evening performances on Tuesdays are scheduled for 7 p.m., Wednesdays and Thursdays for 7:30 p.m., Saturdays at 8 p.m. Matinees are scheduled for Saturday at 2 p.m. and Sunday at 3 p.m. There is no matinee scheduled for Wednesday, October 7, but a matinee is scheduled for Thursday, October 8 at 2 p.m.
The production is three hours and 10 minutes in length including a 15-minute intermission. The Broadhurst Theatre is located at 235 West 44th St., New York, NY.
Opening Night: ‘Hamlet’
|Variety||David Rooney||“It’s an accessible presentation, but rarely exciting and even less often moving.”|
|New York Times||Ben Brantley||“If Hamlet talks about his mind, you can bet that Mr. Law will point to his forehead; when he mentions the heavens, his arm shoots straight up; and when the guy says his gorge rises, rest assured that he clutches at his stomach. If every actor were like Mr. Law, signed performances for the hard of hearing would be unnecessary.”|
|Associated Press||Michael Kuchwara||“Law has marched fearlessly through one of the great roles in dramatic literature — maybe the greatest — and done a credible job in making it his own.”|
|USA Today||Elysa Gardner||“Not that the weight of this Hamlet ever seems oppressive; to the contrary, it’s tough to imagine a more exhilarating way to spend three hours sitting down. Brevity may be the soul of wit, but if you can score tickets, this play’s the thing to see.”|
|Entertainment Weekly||Thom Geier||“…a first-rate production notable for its refreshingly straightforward, understated approach to the text.”|
|Los Angeles Times||Charles McNulty||“Jude Law may not be the most emotionally piercing or philosophically profound Hamlet, but he brings an admirable balance to this most challenging of Shakespearean roles.”|