God Save Gertrude, a punk rock musical take on William Shakespeare’s Hamlet, opens this Saturday at The Theater at Boston Court in Pasadena.
Borrowing from Shakespeare for musical theater (and just about every other creative pursuit) is nothing new of course; it has spawned iconic shows like West Side Story (Romeo and Juliet,) Kiss Me Kate (The Taming of the Shrew) and The Lion King (Hamlet.) Further afield musically, in 1957 Duke Ellington and Billy Strayhorn composed Such Sweet Thunder, a jazz suite that draws on the Bard’s plays, characters and sonnets.
Deborah Stein, God Save Gertrude’s playwright, and David Hanbury, composer, continue the tradition, employing punk’s sensibilities to offer an updated portrayal of the Danish prince Hamlet from the point of view of his pilloried mother, Queen Gertrude– against a backdrop of some things that never change: corruption, betrayal and revenge in the halls of power.
God Save Gertrude previews through Friday Oct. 9, opens Saturday, Oct. 10th, runs through Nov. 8th. At Boston Court Performing Arts Center, 70 North Mentor (between Colorado and Union) Pasadena CA 91106. Detailed information here.