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Broadway's 'Hamlet,' starring Jude Law, recoups costs

November 4, 2009 | 11:43 am


Maybe the melancholy Prince of Denmark should re-consider those suicidal thoughts.

Producers of the current Broadway production of "Hamlet," starring Jude Law, said Wednesday that the play has earned back its $2.5-million costs in less than three months, according to reports. The production began previews at the Broadhurst Theatre on Sept. 12 before opening on Oct. 6.

“It’s heartening to see that Shakespeare can be a commercial success on Broadway, as well as seeing so many young audience members at the Broadhurst experiencing their first Shakespeare production," Arielle Tepper Madover, one of the show's producers, told the Associated Press.

One has to wonder whether the large crowds are coming to see Shakespeare or the 36-year-old Law, whose marquee name has played no small role in helping to sell tickets. Reviews of the production, which originated at the Donmar Warehouse in the U.K., have been less than glowing. The Times' Charles McNulty described the production as "vigorously chic" and wrote that Law "may not be the most emotionally piercing or philosophically profound Hamlet, but he brings an admirable balance to this most challenging of Shakespearean roles."

The production of "Hamlet" is set to end its run on Dec. 6.

The good news for "Hamlet" comes just days after the premature demise of the high-profile revival of Neil Simon's "Brighton Beach Memoirs," which closed on Sunday after only one week. Some have blamed the lack of a recognizable star for the failure of "Brighton" to catch on with audiences.

And speaking of stars, the current Broadway season is filled with them. In addition to Law, there are Hugh Jackman and Daniel Craig co-starring in "A Steady Rain"; Carrie Fisher in "Wishful Drinking"; and former Law girlfriend Sienna Miller in "After Miss Julie."

-- David Ng

Photo: Jude Law and fellow cast members take their bow in the Broadway production of "Hamlet." Credit: Peter Kramer / Associated Press

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