- The Washington Times - Thursday, June 21, 2007

Washington’s awash in Shakespeare these days as the several-months-long “Shakespeare in Washington” festival nears its close. That’s another reason to catch the Shakespeare Theatre’s Hamlet, a production of the Bard’s introspective revenge tragedy that director Michael Kahn has imbued with a certain wildness and the hormonally antsy angst of misunderstood youth. It’s sleekly contemporary in sets and costumes and otherwise up to date: In one witty touch, Hamlet woos the young Ophelia via IPod downloads. And though it does have moments of shrillness and unconvincing histrionics, overall it’s a green and gutsy production. Through July 29 at 450 Seventh St. NW. 202/547-1122.

Jayne Blanchard

The Mary Pickford Theater has been rediscovering largely forgotten or whimsical examples of Shakespearean cinema in its series Screening Shakespeare, a clever supplement to this year’s celebrations of the great playwright.

Tonight at 7, the Pickford revives episodes of “I Love Lucy,” “Gilligan’s Island,” “Sanford and Son” and “Happy Days” to showcase Shakespeare’s influence on TV situation comedy. For example, Lucille Ball envisions playing Juliet opposite Orson Welles’ Romeo in the first selection, and Henry Winkler’s Fonzie takes on Hamlet in the final one.

A program scheduled for tomorrow at 7 p.m. emphasizes animation. It begins with a quartet of cartoons and concludes with a feature-length puppet version of “A Midsummer Night’s Dream,” completed in 1959 by the Czech animator Jiri Trnka. The Pickford plans to show an English-language version, enhanced with a narration by Richard Burton.

On the third floor of the James Madison Building, the Pickford is the resident film repertory theater of the Library of Congress. All programs are free, but seating is limited. 101 Independence Avenue SE. 202/707-4604.

Gary Arnold

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