Rikki Lee Travolta will head the cast of Elgin Theatre Company’s mounting of Paul Rudnick’s iconic comedy I Hate Hamlet opening September 30, 2022, at the Elgin Arts Showcase just north of Chicago. Under the direction of Regina Belt-Daniels, Travolta will play the role of Andrew Rally – a famous but not terribly talented TV star who is cast in the title role of Shakespeare in the Park’s Hamlet.
To aid the television heartthrob in his quest to play Hamlet, the ghost of John Barrymore – regarded in many circles as the greatest Hamlet of all time – comes back from the dead to coach him. What ensues is absolute hilarity.
Co-starring in the role of Barrymore is David Gasior. Gasior possesses all the prerequisites to play the legendary star – a handsome face, great dramatic skills, and impeccable comic timing.
Trace Gamache plays Andrew’s virginal girlfriend Diedre. Gamache was nominated for a Lou Award for her performance as Inspector Goring in last year’s Elgin Theatre Company’s production of The Game’s Afoot.
Rounding out the cast are Alison Thomas Hage as Andrew’s agent Lilian, Karen Mayberry Greuel as real estate agent and amateur psychic Felicia Dantine, and Travis Greuel as Hollywood producer Gary Peter Lefkowitz.
Adam Arkin received a Tony nomination for originating the role of Gary on Broadway in 1991. The original Broadway production starred Evan Handler as Andrew and Nicol Williamson as Barrymore.
Travolta was originally brought to Chicago to redefine the groom’s role in the environmental comedy Tony n’ Tina’s Wedding. He then went on to boost tickets sales as a guest star in productions of the comedy around the country.
In the musical theater world, he was recognized by GuestStarCasting for his ability to consistently pack theaters in the title role in Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat. Donny Osmond, Michael Damian, Patrick Cassidy, Sam Harris, Jon Secada, and Bill Hutton were also singled out for their ability to generate ticket sales.
“The fact is that if you put Rikki Lee Travolta’s name on the marquee, tickets immediately start to sell. He has a reputation of excellence,” notes Belt-Daniels. “And, he’s a joy to work with.”
Belt-Daniels previously directed Travolta in RCLPC Theatre’s production of Mornings at Seven.
I Hate Hamlet opens Friday, September 30 for a limited run. Sunday performances are sign acted for the deaf and hard of hearing. For tickets and information visit www.Elgin-Theatre.org, call (847) 741-0532, or email [email protected].
Elgin Art Showcase is located at 164 Division Street, 8th Floor, Elgin, IL 60120. The theatre is easily accessible from Chicago-proper as well as from the local suburbs.