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Photo: Jeremy Daniel

OFF-BROADWAY REVIEW: Hamlet. A Version

April 26, 2017: The actors’ transformation happens gradually, in front of us, before the lights go down. As the audience settles in at the Theater at St. Clement’s, the performers pluck items of rich clothing from the bounty laid out onstage — a laced corset here, a gilt-edged ruff there — and piece by piece become inhabitants of Hamlet’s world, not ours. “Hamlet. A Version” is a riff on Shakespeare with no tiresome sentinels on the battlements, spying the ghost of the recently dead king. A politically minded caper by the Russian writer and dissident Boris Akunin, known for his detective novels, it starts with a dissolute Hamlet exercising a little droit du seigneur, groping an alarmed Ophelia in plain sight of her father and brother. At two acts and 100 minutes, there is little plumbing of Hamlet’s psyche in this exceedingly handsome, surface-skimming production by Irina Gachechiladze. “To be or not to be, who cares?” the Prince of Denmark (Matt Weiss) says, or said on Monday night, anyway; the line is not in Mr. Akunin’s script. In either case, this is a play about intrigue: amid palace dysfunction, a corpse-strewn power grab.

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MOST RECENT REVIEWS

BROADWAY REVIEW: Six Degrees of Separation

That dangerous young man who calls himself Paul Poitier has grown up in the 27 years since he first set foot on a New York stage. All right, perhaps not “grown up,” since we’re still talking about a narcissistic con artist of adolescent fecklessness and zero self-knowledge. But there’s no doubt that he has grown in stature and, in a paradoxical way, truthfulness.

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BROADWAY REVIEW: Anastasia

The amnesiac title character of “Anastasia,” who may or may not be the long-lost daughter of the last Russian czar, isn’t alone in suffering a serious identity crisis. The postcard-scenic show that bears her name, which opened on Monday night at the Broadhurst Theater, has its own troubling case of multiple personality disorder.

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OFF-BROADWAY REVIEW: The Antipodes

April 23, 2017: Just exactly how many kinds of stories are there, anyway? The tallies vary in “The Antipodes,” Annie Baker’s in-all-ways fabulous new play about professional fabulators in pursuit of the ultimate yarn. One character in this endlessly fascinating work, which opened on Sunday in a Signature Theater production, puts the number of variations at 10. Another insists it’s six. And still another has come up with 36 versions, though when he itemizes them, he only reaches 19. Whatever the quantity, it’s hard to imagine a work that touches on as many of those possibilities as “The Antipodes,” or makes as strong a case for the pervasiveness of storytelling in all aspects of our existence. What’s more, unlike her perpetually thwarted characters, who chase their ideas with the exasperation of dogs running after their tails, Ms. Baker delivers a complete and confident narrative. Now “complete” may not be the term you’d apply to a play as steeped in ambiguities as this one. “The Antipodes” portrays a never-ending brainstorming session for unspecified purposes in an unspecified place.

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BROADWAY REVIEW: Charlie and the Chocolate Factory

Don’t expect a sugar rush from “Charlie and the Chocolate Factory,” the new musical that opened at the Lunt-Fontanne Theater on Sunday. This latest adaptation of Roald Dahl’s winningly sinister children’s story from 1964 is — thank heaven — no sweeter than the two film adaptations it inspired, starring Gene Wilder (1971) and Johnny Depp (2005).

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BROADWAY REVIEW: Hello, Dolly!

The pinnacle of fine dining in New York these days can’t be found in a Michelin-starred restaurant, though it will probably cost you just as much. No, you’ll have to get yourself and your wide-open wallet to the Shubert Theater, where the savory spectacle of Bette Midler eating turns out to be the culinary event of the year.

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