Friday, May 30, 2008

Too Much Hamlet Makes the Critic Go Blind

Leonard Jacobs, writing in the New York Press laments that he can't bring himself to see the Hamlet in the Park this summer.

Not that it doesn't appear to hold promise, but after an amazingly Hamlet-rich theatrical diet as of late, it appears he must push himself away from the all-you can eat buffet.

Here is just a little quote:

My friends, I must take my leave of the Globe’s revival of Hamlet
before I suffer a thousand natural deaths from overindulgence in the play—rich gifts, it is said, wax poor when givers prove unkind. While this admission shall position me the object of fuming derision and scathing scorn, I am, of course, a theater critic. ’Tis therefore to be expected.

Shall I compare Hamlet to a summer’s day? No, I mustn’t, for I have
withstood far too many Hamlets in my lifetime: Hamlet in the dark, Hamlet in the light; Hamlet in the heat, Hamlet in the cold; Hamlet in the theater, Hamlet in the square; Hamlet by the sun, Hamlet by the Moon; clothed Hamlet, nude Hamlet, all-male Hamlet, all-woman Hamlet; the all-nun habit-wearing Hamlet.

No, for me to see Hamlet this summer I would be taken for a fool—and the fool doth think he is wise, but the wise man knows himself to be a fool. No, ’tis I who hath seen far too much of Shakespeare’s fine play; ’tis I, I fear, who hath become more sinned against than sinning. Yes, I hear your cries: “The critic doth protest too much, methinks!” But ’tis Hamletitis the malady I suffer—abstinence it’s only cure.

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