Playhouse Merced presents “I Hate Hamlet”

Funny and often silly, find out what happens when actors take themselves too seriously

“I Hate Hamlet,” a comedy written by Paul Rudnick about the tumultuous relationship between an up-and-coming actor and the ghost of John Barrymore, will begin a two-weekend run at the Playhouse Merced mainstage at 7:30 p.m. Friday, according to a Playhouse Merced press release.

Young, good-looking and a relatively famous television star, Andrew Rally seems to have it all – a beautiful, wealthy girlfriend, an agent determined to make Andrew and himself rich, and the opportunity to play Hamlet in Central Park.

After scratching just a bit of the surface, however, one learns very quickly that Andrew’s life is far from perfect. With Andrew’s television series canceled, his girlfriend spouting passionate convictions of why her virginity is so sacred, and his unwillingness and lack of desire to play Hamlet, he’s finding himself in a definite funk – until famous Shakespearean actor Barrymore, who once occupied Andrew’s apartment, returns from the grave.

“Dressed as Hamlet and full of narcissism, Barrymore turns Andrew’s life upside-down, pushing Andrew to accept the role of a lifetime – regardless of what consequences may occur as a result,” the release said.

“I Hate Hamlet” is directed by Rob Hypes, co-directed by Corey Strauss and stars Joe Hypes as Andrew Rally, Colton Dennis as John Barrymore and Rachel Pearre as Deirdre.

“I Hate Hamlet” plays two weekends through Oct. 5. Tickets are on sale now for Friday and Saturday evenings at 7:30 p.m. and Sunday matinees at 2 p.m. Purchase tickets by going online to, calling (209) 725-8587, or visiting the box office at 452 West Main Street in downtown Merced, Tuesday through Saturday from 1 p.m. to 5 p.m. The show is rated “T” for teenagers and up.

The production celebrates Playhouse Merced’s 21st season in its downtown theater location. For more information, visit