It is still a few weeks from Halloween but Little Theatre of Jefferson City is using the spirit of the season to present "I Hate Hamlet" a comedy complete with a ghost and seance.
The show takes place in the old apartment of John Barrymore in New York and involves the struggles of Andrew Rally, played by Jay Shipman, who is a successful actor on a television series but has the opportunity to play the part of Hamlet on stage. The ghost of Barrymore comes to him trying to convince him to take the role.
Rally is also having trouble with his romantic life because his girlfriend sees her future love as a Prince Valiant, Hamlet-type figure. She is withholding a commitment until she can see these traits in Rally. As the play goes forward, the ghost, played by Alan Bailey, tries to help Rally with his girlfriend problem as well as convincing Rally to accept the stage role. This combination of factors leads the actors through an evening of fun and laughter.
Characters rounding out the cast are Barbara Scott Dawdy who plays Deirdre, the girlfriend. Claudia Scott plays Lillian who had a past love interest in Barrymore. Shellie Howser plays Felicia, who is Rally's agent, and John Wells plays Gary.
Keith Enloe, veteran Jefferson City theater director/actor, said he always thought this show would be wonderful for TLT because it is about actors and Shakespeare.
He said the actors are to the point in rehearsal where they are very familiar with lines and movement and are beginning to enjoy and appreciate the comedic situations.
Enloe said in this show, he wanted to challenge the audience to be more open to a single set with some differences. He plans to let the light bars show and hopes he can eliminate some side masking, thus forcing the audience to use their imaginations.
There are some special effects in the show, and a Shakespeare play wouldn't be complete without a little sword fight.
Helping with some technical aspects of the show are production manager, Cindy Jobe; Gara Loskill, set decoration; Jenny Jones, is assistant production manager and script supervisor; and Natalie Eickhoff, assistant director.
The show has two acts but moves quickly, according to Enloe.
Enloe recommends the show for middle school and above youth and all adults.
"This is a typical community theater production. It takes a lot of hands, a lot of hard work and a lot of volunteers to pull it off. There is a lot a talent in the cast and crew and hopefully they will provide the audience with smiles and laughter all evening."
At a glance
What: "I Hate Hamlet" by the Little Theatre of Jefferson City
When: 7:30 p.m. Oct. 10-12, 2013
Where: Miller Performing Arts Center
Tickets: Miller box office, Monday-Tuesday, 5-7 p.m.; Wed-Saturday, 5-7:30 p.m.
Editor's Note: The dates of performance are Oct. 10-12, as correctly indicated above. The dates reported in the version of this article appearing in Thursday's Escape section inside the printed newspaper and e-newspaper were incorrect.