Most of us HAD to read some Shakespeare in High School, some of us grudgingly, and some willingly.  I was one of the folks that actually enjoyed reading Shakespeare’s works in school, so I was happy to hear that the Cincinnati Shakespeare Company was going to bring Hamlet to their stage, and even more ecstatic when we were offered complimentary tickets.  Hamlet was one of my favorite works by Sir William Shakespeare.  Having said that, I had forgotten just how quotable that written work was!  While watching the play at Cincy Shakes on Friday I was reminded of just how many quotes that are frequently used even today came from Hamlet.  Such as “get thee to a nunnery!”.  Ok, so maybe that one isn’t a popular quote, but I know that I’ve used it.  Then there’s the quote everyone remembers: “Something’s rotten in the state of Denmark” or perhaps you’ve heard this one: “This above all: to thine own self be true”.  So many remarkable and memorable quotes came from this written work.

Hamlet has been performed countless times, on stages and on the big screen.  I’ve seen a few different versions of Hamlet, but I’m going to come right out and say that this was my favorite.  There was something wonderful about seeing it on a small stage, and being so close to the actors, who were so passionate about their roles. 

Cincinnati Shakespeare’s performance appeals to Downton Abbey fans such as myself because the play is set in the same era, when the world was on the verge of World War I.  And much like Downton Abbey, Hamlet has drama, intrigue, scandal, love stories, family turmoil, the politics of war, death and even a touch of comedy.  I’m not saying that this version of Hamlet is just like Downton Abbey, just that there are some parallels.  I would venture to say that even if you have not read Hamlet or are unfamiliar with the story you will still enjoy this exceptional performance.  Michael and I were enthralled with the show from beginning to end.  The actors were simply phenomenal, they were obviously giving their all to their roles, from the terrifying ghost of Hamlet’s father, to the lovestruck Ophelia, to the dippy mother Gertrude perpetually seeing life through her rose-colored glasses, to the over-bearing and treacherous Claudious to the wounded and revengeful Hamlet.  Not to mention Rosencrantz & Guildenstern who will go from being on the sidelines in this show to being the stars of their own show next month.
Cincinnati Shakespeare Company will be using the same sets, same costumes, and the same actors reprising their roles to perform the comedy “Rosencrantz & Guildenstern are Dead” right after Hamlet’s run is over.  This comedy will put a whole new spin on the tragedy of Hamlet, and I’m eager to watch it after seeing this exemplary performance.  So if you are a fan of Shakespeare’s Hamlet, I not only suggest you go see it at Cincy Shakes (get tickets now, the shows are selling out already!), but I also suggest you get tickets to see the upcoming “Rosencrantz & Guildenstern are Dead” show as well.

Show & Ticket details for Hamlet ::

Performances of “Hamlet” are scheduled from January 10- February 8 on Thursday, Friday & Saturday evenings at 7:30pm and Sundays at 2pm.  Preview performances are on Wednesday Jan. 8 and Thursday Jan. 9 at 7:30pm and tickets are $20.  No performance on Sunday January 12 or February 9.  The theater is located at 719 Race Street, downtown Cincinnati, two blocks west of the Aronoff Center.  Single ticket prices range from $22-$31 on Thursdays and Sundays and from $26-$35 on Fridays and Saturdays.  If available, $14 student rush tickets may be purchased 30 minutes before a show with a valid student ID.  Visa, Discover, MasterCard, and American Express are accepted.  Ticketing fees may apply.  Discounts are available for students, seniors and groups as well as Enjoy the Arts and AAA members.  To purchase tickets or for more information, call the CSC Box Office at 513.381.BARD (2273) ext. 1, or go online at  
The Cincinnati Shakespeare Company is located at 719 Race Street, Cincinnati.  You can find important details about tickets, shows, parking and more on the Cincinnati Shakespeare Company website.  And be sure to follow Cincy Shakes on Facebook!  Cincy Shakes Photos by Rich Sofranko 
Disclaimer: I was given a pair of tickets to see this production, but I promise you that the opinions are 100% my own.