‘Hamlet’ Continues Run at The Public; Unblurred First Fridays on Penn Ave. (Fri., 5/4/18)

Hamlet (Matthew Amendt) finds the skull of Yorick, the jester who amused him when he was a child. Photo: Michael Henninger.

Hamlet (Matthew Amendt) finds the skull of Yorick, the jester who amused him when he was a child. Photo: Michael Henninger.

1) It’s a good thing William Shakespeare didn’t have to write Hamlet for a Hollywood studio. Imagine the complaints: Too philosophical! Script needs more sex, more fight scenes. And why is this Hamlet guy so inconsistent? He can’t make up his mind! Indeed, much of the play’s greatness lies in its ambiguity. Prince Hamlet comes across to us, down through the ages, because he knows too much and yet too little: Yes, life is complex and crazy, but what should we do about it? Hamlet is furthermore Shakespeare at his most eloquent. The play has been analyzed by Sigmund Freud, quoted by Mary Baker Eddy in her textbook on Christian Science, and invoked by the economist Joseph Schumpeter to help explain his theory of creative destruction. Famous actors who’ve played the title role range from Edwin Booth, brother of Lincoln’s assassin, to Ethan Hawke—who delivered the “To be or not to be” soliloquy while roaming the aisles of a Blockbuster video store, in the 2000 movie version set in New York City. And now…

Ted Pappas

Ted Pappas

Ted Pappas, retiring from his longtime post as head of Pittsburgh Public Theater, directs a production of Hamlet to close The Public’s season. Pappas will be back next season to direct Lucas Hnath’s A Doll’s House Part 2. See our review. 8 p.m. Continues through May 20. At the O’Reilly Theater, 621 Penn Ave., Cultural District. (MV)

Fans and friends of Aaron Pfeiffer began to crowd Fieldwork Contemporary Gallery when they learned he was back in town and performing at Unblurred.

Fans and friends of Aaron Pfeiffer began to crowd Fieldwork Contemporary Gallery when they learned he was back in town and performing at Unblurred. Photo:: Martha Rial.

2) Unblurred: First Fridays on Penn features a variety of visual and performing arts at galleries, clubs, and restaurants along Penn Avenue (4800-5500) in the Garfield, Bloomfield, and Friendship neighborhoods. 6 – 10 p.m. Most events are free.