Hamlet in Bed OFF-BROADWAY REVIEWS

Photo: Michelle V. Agins
  • NY TIMES

  • Opening Night:
    August 28, 2015
    Closing:
    October 25, 2015

    Theater: Rattlestick Theatre / 224 Waverly Place, New York, NY, 10014

    Synopsis: 

    Michael is a neurotic actor and adoptee obsessed with two things- finding his real mother, and playing the famous Gloomy Dane. His twin fixations collide when he tracks down Anna, a reclusive former actress-turned-barfly; gripped by the notion that she might be his actual birth-mother, he first stalks her from a distance, then lures her into a noirish production of Hamlet playing the role of the queen, his mother. Hamlet In Bed is a twisty and darkly comic story about mothers and sons. About what it means to live a life in the theatre, both a generation ago, and now. And about families- the ones we’re born into, and the ones we find along the way.

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  • NEW YORK TIMES REVIEW OF Hamlet in Bed

    ‘Hamlet in Bed’ Is Michael Laurence’s Shakespearean Take

    Charles Isherwood

    September 17, 2015: A former actor with a bleeding passion to play Shakespeare’s Danish prince — and to find his mother, who gave him up for adoption — leads us on his peculiar personal odyssey in “Hamlet in Bed,” a two-character play written by and starring Michael Laurence at the Rattlestick Playwrights Theater. Mr. Laurence, dressed in scraggly black, his blond hair cut shaggy and floppy, plays the obsessed actor, named — gosh! — Michael. Annette O’Toole plays the woman who may or may not be his mother. Directed by Lisa Peterson on a darkened, simple set dominated by, yes, a bed, the play alternates between monologues for both characters (spoken into microphones) and scenes in which they interact. Michael has been drifting through life, unable to commit to his latest girlfriend and flitting through a series of dead-end jobs. He’s long been determined to climb the mighty role of Hamlet, although he’s now probably well past the years when it would really suit. (Still, he can easily tick off all the actors who’ve played the role at his age, 39, or older.)

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