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Fortinbras, Lee Blessing's parody of Hamlet, will please you all the more if you're familiar with the plot and characters of Shakespeare's play. Keep in mind that Fortinbras' father (also named Fortinbras) was killed by Hamlet's father (also named Hamlet), and that like his moody Danish compatriot, Fortinbras has sworn revenge on his father's killer. Now you know why he looks so shocked when he storms Elsinore Castle at the end of Hamlet only to find everyone save Horatio dead — and Hamlet has put Fortinbras' name forth as heir to the Danish kingdom. Fortinbras announces that "no one will believe the Danish royal family killed themselves before we got here," and so he blames it on a nonexistent Polish spy, thereby justifying an invasion of Poland. But all's not quiet in Elsinore; everyone from Claudius to Ophelia is a ghost haunting the place, and the once energetic and decisive Fortinbras finds that no amount of redecorating makes the castle any more cheery. And then he starts monologuing, and you know he's in a bad way. The Fontbonne University Theatre Department presents Fortinbras at 8 p.m. Thursday to Saturday and 2 p.m. Sunday (March 25 through 28) at the Fontbonne University Theatre (6800 Wydown Boulevard; 314-889-1425). Tickets are $5.
March 25-28, 2010