I May Have Seen the Devil
Directed, Adapted, Produced and Choreographed by Alejandro Stepenberg
At Seattle Center Theatre4
TICKETS through Saturday Feb. 28th
– – – Use the discount code COPIOUS LOVE for $10.00 Tickets online or at the door – – –
This last Friday evening I had the privilege to witness the telling of a beautiful story through the utilization of the familiar work of Hamlet entitled I May Have Seen the Devil. Using the original writing of Shakespeare, adapter, director, producer and fight-choreographer, Alejandro Stepenberg, succeeded in keeping the original language while reducing the original text by 58%. By rearranging a large portion of the remaining text and transplanting the setting to Elsinore Asylum in 1946, a stunning story of struggle and isolation was imparted to us as the audience.
We begin with a dimly lit set which lends our focus to Horatio (Zachary Christensen) whose monologue (having been moved to the top of the show) sets the appropriate air for the tale to follow. A minimal, adaptable set worked well to allow for performances in two different venues, as well as to keep the focus on the immensely gifted cast. By tradition the role of Hamlet is a man. Stepenberg’s adaptation departs from this as his Hamlet is a lesbian woman. I applaud Stepenberg for this visionary move, for if he had not taken this direction, I would never have witnessed the stunning performance of Jesse LaTourette in this role. Her connection to the work coupled with her immense talent allowed those even with no previous exposure to the original language to grasp the depth of the story being told and Hamlet’s struggle for her voice to be heard. With six of the nine cast members playing multiple roles, I have to acknowledge Jada C. Brazil for her portrayal of Queen Gertrude as well as Mad 3. Each of these characters were so beautifully separate of each other that one may have never known they were played by the same actress. The performances of Sarah Bixler (Guildenstern/Mad 2/Second Clown) and Amanda Keogh (Rosencrantz/Mad 4/First Clown) are equally deserving of mention.
With three more performances this coming weekend, I would strongly recommend taking the opportunity to attend I May Have Seen the Devil.
by Brandy Beauchamp