Let's start with the acting: Phenomenal. Michael Crane was superb in the lead role and his performance was seamless. When he spoke Hamlet's classic soliloquies, it was as if they weren't soliloquies at all. Instead, it seemed like Hamlet was speaking to the audience, addressing everyone like old friends, right there in the room with him.
Really, all of the actors were superb--it's hard to call one out over another. To be honest, I almost want to see the play again because of the quality of the acting.
The set design was wonderful, too. Of course, it was simple (for the most part, a large, marble-esque room), but it made for gorgeous lighting and interesting scene changes, especially when it came to the ephemeral appearances (and disappearances) of the Ghost.
The one rub for me was the time setting of the play, or more so, the costumes. The actors' attire seemed to switch from that of the Victorian era (complete with embellished ballgowns) to, well, if you count the black turtleneck Hamlet wore toward the end of the play, the '50's or '60's. The actors also spoke their lines with modern intonations-very conversational. That was all fine with me, and made the play more relatable.
I just had to stop 'noticing' the costumes so much, and had to let myself go. If anything, I saw Hamlet's more modern attire later in the play as a way to signal his personal evolution as a character. (He had grown up, by then.)
In all, Pioneer Theatre Company put on a fine production. Just prepare to sit and relax for a while and let yourself go.
Hamlet runs through October 2. For tickets and more information, visit pioneertheatre.org or call 801-581-6961.