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Home :: Archive :: 2001 :: August ::
Re: Hamlet Parody
The Shakespeare Conference: SHK 12.1970  Friday, 10 August 2001

[1]     From:   Vick Bennison <
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        Date:   Thursday, 09 Aug 2001 09:22:42 EDT
        Subj:   Re: SHK 12.1968 Hamlet Parody?

[2]     From:   Marcia Tanner <
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        Date:   Thursday, 09 Aug 2001 09:40:04 -0400
        Subj:   Re: SHK 12.1968 Hamlet Parody?

[3]     From:   Douglas M Lanier <
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        Date:   Thursday, 9 Aug 2001 10:05:14 -0400 (EDT)
        Subj:   Re: SHK 12.1968 Hamlet Parody?

[4]     From:   Todd Pettigrew <
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        Date:   Thursday, 9 Aug 2001 11:14:14 -0300
        Subj:   Re: SHK 12.1968 Hamlet Parody?

[5]     From:   Ann Carrigan <
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        Date:   Thursday, 09 Aug 2001 10:38:37 EDT
        Subj:   Re: SHK 12.1968 Hamlet Parody?

[6]     From:   Richard Nathan <
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        Date:   Thursday, 09 Aug 2001 15:02:26 +0000
        Subj:   Re: SHK 12.1968 Hamlet Parody?

[7]     From:   Elaine Marie Alphin <
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        Date:   Thursday, 9 Aug 2001 11:36:47 EDT
        Subj:   Re: SHK 12.1968 Hamlet Parody?

[8]     From:   Kit Gordon <
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        Date:   Thursday, 9 Aug 2001 10:56:50 -0500
        Subj:   Re: SHK 12.1968 Hamlet Parody?

[9]     From:   Terence Hawkes <
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        Date:   Thursday, 9 Aug 2001 12:46:00 -0400
        Subj:   SHK 12.1968 Hamlet Parody?

[10]    From:   Carl Fortunato <
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        Date:   Thursday, 9 Aug 2001 13:56:48 EDT
        Subj:   Re: SHK 12.1968 Hamlet Parody?

[11]    From:   Ivan Fuller <
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        Date:   Thursday, 09 Aug 2001 16:36:30 -0500
        Subj:   Re: SHK 12.1968 Hamlet Parody?

[12]    From:   David A. Lariscy <
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        Date:   Thursday, 9 Aug 2001 18:42:49 EDT
        Subj:   Re: SHK 12.1968 Hamlet Parody?

[13]    From:   David Kathman <
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        Date:   Thursday, 9 Aug 2001 22:57:35 -0600
        Subj:   Re: SHK 12.1968 Hamlet Parody?


[1]-----------------------------------------------------------------
From:           Vick Bennison <
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Date:           Thursday, 09 Aug 2001 09:22:42 EDT
Subject: 12.1968 Hamlet Parody?
Comment:        Re: SHK 12.1968 Hamlet Parody?

I don't think this will help, because I don't think it was ever
published, but in the early 70's I saw a skit at Second City in Chicago
that was Hamlet as seen from heaven.  It starts with Hamlet's father on
stage alone.  After awhile Polonius is propelled onto stage, then
Ophelia.  Then R&G.  Then as the duel scene unrolls, people are popping
onto stage in a hilarious accelerating cascade.  I can't remember any of
the dialogue, but the visuals still make me laugh.

- Vick

[2]-------------------------------------------------------------
From:           Marcia Tanner <
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Date:           Thursday, 09 Aug 2001 09:40:04 -0400
Subject: 12.1968 Hamlet Parody?
Comment:        Re: SHK 12.1968 Hamlet Parody?

The Compleat Works of Shakespeare, Abridged is hilarious and focuses
heavily on Hamlet -- including doing it backwards.  It works visually
better than it does on paper, but that's part of the joy.

Marcia Tanner

[3]-------------------------------------------------------------
From:           Douglas M Lanier <
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Date:           Thursday, 9 Aug 2001 10:05:14 -0400 (EDT)
Subject: 12.1968 Hamlet Parody?
Comment:        Re: SHK 12.1968 Hamlet Parody?

Marcia,

Arguably Charles Marowitz's HAMLET adaptation might be seen as a satire;
it is roughly of the same vintage as Stoppard's play and so might make a
good comparison piece.  It can be found in THE MAROWITZ SHAKESPEARE
(London:  Marion Boyars, 1978), pp. 28-69.

If you want something more clearly comic and parodic in intent, try John
Poole's 1811 HAMLET TRAVESTIE (in NINETEENTH-CENTURY SHAKESPEARE
BURLESQUES, ed.  Stanley Wells, vol. 1) or THE SKINHEAD HAMLET by
Richard Curtis (which is in THE FABER BOOK OF PARODIES, ed. Simon Brett,
Faber, 1990, 316-20).

Cheers,
Douglas Lanier

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[4]-------------------------------------------------------------
From:           Todd Pettigrew <
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Date:           Thursday, 9 Aug 2001 11:14:14 -0300
Subject: 12.1968 Hamlet Parody?
Comment:        Re: SHK 12.1968 Hamlet Parody?

Though it's not exactly what you're looking for, you might look up
Ann-Marie MacDonald's wonderful play, _Goodnight Desdemona, Good Morning
Juliet_ which takes up the issue of Shakespearean tragedy -- and the
place of women in it -- in very interesting and amusing ways.

As the title suggests, Othello and R&J are the main sources of parody,
but Hamlet gets in there too.

t.

[5]-------------------------------------------------------------
From:           Ann Carrigan <
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Date:           Thursday, 09 Aug 2001 10:38:37 EDT
Subject: 12.1968 Hamlet Parody?
Comment:        Re: SHK 12.1968 Hamlet Parody?

Marcia Eppich <
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 > asked:

> Does anyone know of a good, full-length parody/satire of Hamlet besides
> Stoppard's Rosencrantz and Guildenstern are Dead? A preliminary search
> at my library didn't bring up anything worthwhile (but then again, I
> live in the middle of a corn field). I'm trying to find another Hamlet
> offshoot that is different from R&G are Dead for comparison and
> contrast.

In case he doesn't, I'd like to put forth Richard Nathan's "A Night in
Elsinore," which is a double-parody, combining the realm of classic
screwball films with "Hamlet."

Mr. Nathan is, of course, a SHAKSPER contributor. I will allow him to
direct you to the text. I've read it, and think it's a delightful
parody. I only regret I've not yet found a group prepared to stage it,
so I can see it done.

--Ann Carrigan

[6]-------------------------------------------------------------
From:           Richard Nathan <
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Date:           Thursday, 09 Aug 2001 15:02:26 +0000
Subject: 12.1968 Hamlet Parody?
Comment:        Re: SHK 12.1968 Hamlet Parody?

Marica Eppich was asking about full length "Hamlet" parodies.  My
parody, entitled "A Night In Elsinore" can be found at my web site,
www.shakespeare-parodies.com

[7]-------------------------------------------------------------
From:           Elaine Marie Alphin <
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Date:           Thursday, 9 Aug 2001 11:36:47 EDT
Subject: 12.1968 Hamlet Parody?
Comment:        Re: SHK 12.1968 Hamlet Parody?

Marcia,

In the 1970s, several students at Rice University collaborated a
full-length musical parody entitled "Hello, Hamlet!".  It was actually a
dual parody of Hamlet for the storyline and Broadway theatre for the
genre, and I believe they had difficulties getting permission from the
composers for the Broadway songs that were used (for example, the
opening number, "Tragedy Tonight" was a parody of the opening "Comedy
Tonight" in A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the Forum) so the play
may never have been formally published.  If we have anyone currently
teaching at Rice on the list however (I believe J. Dennis Huston may
have joined?) he might be able to put you in touch with the writer.  The
play was frequently revived and performed at the Weiss Commons over the
years at Rice, though I don't know if it still is.  It was a hoot.

Best,
Elaine Marie Alphin

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http://www.elainemariealphin.com

[8]-------------------------------------------------------------
From:           Kit Gordon <
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Date:           Thursday, 9 Aug 2001 10:56:50 -0500
Subject: 12.1968 Hamlet Parody?
Comment:        Re: SHK 12.1968 Hamlet Parody?

Marcia asked:

> Does anyone know of a good, full-length parody/satire of Hamlet besides
> Stoppard's Rosencrantz and Guildenstern are Dead? A preliminary search at
> my library didn't bring up anything worthwhile (but then again, I live in
> the middle of a corn field). I'm trying to find another Hamlet offshoot
> that is different from R&G are Dead for comparison and contrast.

Hi Marcia:

Start with the spinoff list on the website:

http://ws.bowiestate.edu/archives/files/spinoff.biblio.html

It has lots of Hamlet spinoffs, and you might find something usable
there. Good luck!

Chris Gordon, Minneapolis

[9]-------------------------------------------------------------
From:           Terence Hawkes <
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Date:           Thursday, 9 Aug 2001 12:46:00 -0400
Subject: Hamlet Parody?
Comment:        SHK 12.1968 Hamlet Parody?

The most sublime parody of Hamlet is still Richard Curtis's 'The
Skinhead Hamlet' (in Simon Brett,  ed., The Faber Book of Parodies,
London: Faber, 1984 pp. 316-20).

Terence Hawkes

[10]-------------------------------------------------------------
From:           Carl Fortunato <
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Date:           Thursday, 9 Aug 2001 13:56:48 EDT
Subject: 12.1968 Hamlet Parody?
Comment:        Re: SHK 12.1968 Hamlet Parody?

>  Does anyone know of a good, full-length parody/satire of Hamlet besides
>  Stoppard's Rosencrantz and Guildenstern are Dead? A preliminary search
>  at my library didn't bring up anything worthwhile (but then again, I
>  live in the middle of a corn field). I'm trying to find another Hamlet
>  offshoot that is different from R&G are Dead for comparison and
>  contrast.

"A Night In Elsinore" was written by Richard Nathan, who I believe is a
member of this list.  You can read it here:

http://www.shakespeare-parodies.com/hamlet.html

My company did it last year, and it was very well received.  Stuff about
that production should be here:

http://www.whyaduck.com/new/elsinore.htm

but I'm having trouble accessing the site, and I hope it's only
temporary.

This year, we are doing "How Sharper Than A Serpent's Tooth," a parody
of King Lear by the same author.  Script is here:

http://www.shakespeare-parodies.com/lear.html

We have four performances left.

It will be performed at the West 104th Street Garden on 104th St between
Manhattan Ave and Central Park West. The dates are as follows:

Saturday, August 18
Sunday, August 19
Saturday, August 25
Sunday, August 26

All shows are at 3pm. Admission is free.

[11]-------------------------------------------------------------
From:           Ivan Fuller <
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Date:           Thursday, 09 Aug 2001 16:36:30 -0500
Subject: 12.1968 Hamlet Parody?
Comment:        Re: SHK 12.1968 Hamlet Parody?

Samuel French carries a musical spoof called "Hamlet Cha-Cha-Cha."
There's also Lee Blessing's sequel, "Fortinbras."

Ivan Fuller

[12]-------------------------------------------------------------
From:           David A. Lariscy <
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Date:           Thursday, 9 Aug 2001 18:42:49 EDT
Subject: 12.1968 Hamlet Parody?
Comment:        Re: SHK 12.1968 Hamlet Parody?

-A writer by the name  of Charles Marowitz wrote a parody of Hamlet back
the late seventies.  In fact, it's called the Marowitz Hamlet.

[13]-------------------------------------------------------------
From:           David Kathman <
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Date:           Thursday, 9 Aug 2001 22:57:35 -0600
Subject: 12.1968 Hamlet Parody?
Comment:        Re: SHK 12.1968 Hamlet Parody?

Marcia Eppich wrote:

>Does anyone know of a good, full-length parody/satire of Hamlet besides
>Stoppard's Rosencrantz and Guildenstern are Dead? A preliminary search
>at my library didn't bring up anything worthwhile (but then again, I
>live in the middle of a corn field). I'm trying to find another Hamlet
>offshoot that is different from R&G are Dead for comparison and
>contrast.

Probably the best I know of is "Hamlet, The Musical", which either just
ended or is just about to end its run at the Chicago Shakespeare Theater
on Navy Pier.  I first posted about it on this list in 1995, toward the
end of its original run at the ImprovOlympic, but I didn't get to see it
then.  I did see it last summer when it was playing at Chicago
Shakespeare, and enjoyed it very much.  I saw it again two weeks ago, in
a version with most of the same cast but a new Hamlet, and with some new
material added.

It's a really clever show, written by Michael Thomas (who played
Claudius in both productions I saw) and Jeff Richmond (who played Hamlet
in the first production I saw and directed both).  Virtually none of
Shakespeare's dialogue survives intact, but the basic plot is mostly the
same, with all kinds of tangents thrown in.  The songs are very well
done and integral to the plot, including such numbers as "Something
Stinks", "What's the Matter With Hamlet", "Mama's a Boy's Best Friend",
and "I'm Crazy" (sung by Ophelia).  The humor ranges from slapstick to
inside jokes for the benefit of theater people and Shakespeare
scholars.  All in all, a very enjoyable show, in my humble opinion.  I'm
pretty sure it hasn't been published, but if you're really interested
you could try contacting the Chicago Shakespeare Theater and they could
probably put you in touch with the authors.

Dave Kathman

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