Hammy, Can You Hear Me?

The ever-popular Hamlet gets a brisk workout courtesy of Hydeware Theatre Company, with a promised performance time of just around 90 minutes. How'd Hydeware pare the play down? Well, the main characters all operate without one of their primary senses, which is sure to cut down on the total weight of the play. Hamlet's lost his sense of touch, Gertrude's lost her sense of taste, Claudius has gone blind, Ophelia can no longer smell, and Laertes is deaf. The reasons for the characters' sensory deprivation are drawn from the play itself — Gertrude marries her husband's murderer, a "tasteless" move, for example — and the ramifications of director Richard Strelinger's unique interpretation are sure to change the way you see the familiar melancholy Dane. Hydeware performs Hamlet outdoors at 6 p.m. Friday through Sunday (September 8 through 17) at the Whitaker Theatre in Tower Grove Park (4256 Magnolia Avenue; www.hydewaretheatre.org or 314-368-7306), behind the tennis courts. Admission is free, but don't be shy about donating a few bucks to the company for its efforts.
Fridays-Sundays. Starts: Sept. 8. Continues through Sept. 17