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October 31, 2014

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POST-GAZETTE, OCTOBER 31,2014 Page 5 Quattro Grille, Rosticceria & Pizzeria OOO 266 Hanover St. 6"i7.720.0444 Bricco Boutique Italian Cuisine OOO 241 Hanover St. 617.248.6800 A Decisive "Hamlet" in Hartford "Hamlet" at the Hartford Stage Directed by Darko Tresnjak Through November 16th In two of Shakespeare's plays it is difficult to find an actor young enough to play the title character. In "King Lear" the challenge is to fund someone old enough, some- where in his 80s, who also has the energy for such a de- manding role. In 2005, The Actor's Shakespeare Project" cast Alvin Epstein in the title role and found the perfect fit. The result was one of the best productions of Lear ever. With Hamlet, the problem is finding an actor who has the talent at a young age to fill such a deep and compli- cated role. Director Darko Tresnjak has found the per- son who is up to the task in Zach Appelman. Mr. Appel- man fully embraces the role of the ennui filled Dane. It is a joy watching him move about the stage with an almost adolescent voice, ac- tually sounding a bit more like a high schooler than the returning college student, but it works very well. His voice often trails off in a high-pitched whine at the Zach Appelman as Hamlet (Photo by T. Charles Erickson) www.depasquateventures,com end of many lines, a voice many parents will find fa- miliar. Most of the productions of the play that I have seen put more emphasis of Hamlet's indecision. Director Tresnjak has chosen to lean towards the revenge aspect not only on the Dane's part, but also on that of young Laertes (Anthony Roach) and Fortinbras (Conor M. Hamill). It is refreshing and interesting. The long-winded Polonius (Edward James Hyland) is a delight. His timing is perfect and he is very funny, appro- priately so. In some of his exchanges with Hamlet it is fun to watch them pause and glance at the audience while awaiting the laughter. While there is much hu- mor in this production, it is still a tragic and moving play. In Act 5 where Hamlet has returned from England, we see Appleman's prince transformed from the fre- netic and confused youth tor- tured by the loss of his fa- ther, into a mature and mea- sured man. It is a pleasure to watch as he recites the graveyard soliloquy softly and with such warmth, and it is deeply moving to watch him in the closing scenes. This is a "Hamlet" to be re- membered and not to be missed. Darko Tresnjak has staged it in Elizabethan cos- tumes and the sets are sim- ply beautiful. Our young Hamlet, Zach Appelman has certainly grown talented be- fore growing old. "Bad Jews" Is a Good Play Directed by Rebecca Bradshaw Through November 29th "Bad Jews" Directed by Rebecca Bradshaw, pre- sented by Speak-Easy Stage Company at the Calder-wood Pavilion, Boston runs through November 29th. "Bad Jews" is billed as a comedy, and it is very, very funny. It is also a heart- breaking and deeply emo- tional work. The play takes place in the NYC apartment of Jonah (Alex Marz) who is being visited by his cousin Daphna (Alison McCartan), and a little later by his brother Liam (Victor Shopov) and his fianc6 Melody (Gillian Mariner Gordon). They are all brought to- gether in this cramped space because of the death of their grandfather Poppy for whom they will begin sitting Shiva the next day. Liam and Daphna, between whom there is already much ten- sion, engage in a battle over who should have possession of Poppy's Chai which is the Hebrew symbol for life and is now a necklace. Poppy car- ried the Chai with him dur- ing his time in a concentra- tion camp during the Holo- caust, hiding it under his tongue. Daphna and Liam, each of whom believes they are more deserving of this precious heirloom go at it hammer and tong. Jonah wants to just stay out of it, and poor Melody, who is meeting her future cousin in-law for the first time, is Daphna (Alison McCartan), Liam (Victor Shopov, and Melody (Gillian Mariner Gordon) (Photo by Craig Bailey) caught completely off guard by the anger she witnesses, and by the nasty comments that are directed at her by Daphna. The words are cruel and cutting, but the scenes are also uproariously funny. Funny, that is, until it begins to sink in just how cutting and cruel the com- ments are. Daphna and Liam get into it about who is the better Jew and the meaning of Jewish culture. The cast is excellent, and while Liam and Daphna are center stage for the greater part of the play, Melody and Jonah have roles that deeply impact how the audience will feel at the end of the perfor- mance.. Whether you are Jewish or not, watching playwright Joshua Harmon's finely con- structed work will resonate with anyone who has dealt with the dynamics of a fam- ily at odds with each other. This play coUld have been extremely depressing and I did find it a bit emotionally draining as, I believe, many in the audience did, but it works, and it works well. In the talkback after Sunday's performance Victor Shopov (Liam) put it best, "If this play was not a comedy it would not have survived as it would have been too depressing." Well, it has sur- vived and I for one am glad it did. You will laugh and cry when watching it, and I am willing to bet you will see some of yourself and your family in it. Mar6 Seafood & Oyster Bar OOO 135 Richmond St. - 617.723.MARE Trattoria II Panino Boston's Ist Original Trattoria 000 11 Parmenter St. 617,720.1336 Umbria Prime 5 Story Steakhouse Oyster Bar 8, Night Club OOO 295 Franklin St. 617,338.1000 Bricco Panetterla Homemade Artisan Breads OOO Bdcco Place 241 Hanover St. 617.248.9859 Bricco Salumeria & Pasta shoppe Over 50 Varieties 000 Bricco Place 241 Hanover St. * 617.248.9629 (next to Bricco Panetteria) Lounge & Night Club Coming Soon OOO 150 Kneeland St. Gelateria & Cannoli Factow Homemade Gelato & Cannolis OOO 272 Hanover St. * 64 Cross St. 617.720.4243 Wine Tasting Event to Raise Funds for Pirandello Scholarship Drive Join Pirandello Lycem for their first Wine Tasting event to support the Pirandello's Scholarship Fund. President Rosario Cascio is extending an invitation to all members and non-members who like to enjoy good com- pany, good food, good music and good wine. "This is our first Wine Tasting," said President Cascio, "and it's certain to be a hit with those who appreciate good Italian wine." However, said Cascio, the number of tickets is limited, so individuals planning on attending should make reser- vations early. The event will be held on November 16, 2014 at Spinelli's, 282 Bennington Street (Day Square) East Bos- ton, Massachusetts from 4:00 pm - 7:00 pm and will fea- ture wines from Friuli (Pighin Refosco and Sauvignon) and from Piemonte (Ca' Rapulin Barbera d'Asti and Moscato d'Asti). Jean Paul Onofri and Tino Valdesolo will be pre- senting and describing the wine's origin and unique char- acteristics. Refreshments and Italian music will make the evening enjoyable. There is convenient parking near Spinelli's. Please call Nicolane Domond at 617-710-8260 for ticket information and reservations. Any questions should be directed to President Rosario Cascio at: