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Open Auditions for 'I Hate Hamlet'

The Alliance Theatre in Chantilly is holding open auditions for its next production, Paul Rudnick's "I Hate Hamlet." Auditions will be held Monday-Tuesday, April 1-2, from 7-9:30 p.m. at Chantilly High's black-box theater (enter on right side of school).

"I Hate Hamlet" is about fictional TV star Andrew Rally who relocates to New York and moves into the late John Barrymore's old apartment. The real Barrymore, who died in 1942, was a notorious and hugely talented film and stage actor who especially gained fame for his role as Hamlet. He was part of America's most famous family of actors, which includes the actress Drew Barrymore.

In the play, Rally has signed on to perform the role of Hamlet in New York's Central Park. The trouble is — he hates Hamlet.

He also has quite a few other problems, explained the show's producer, Elaine Wilson: "[Rally is bothered by] his wacky real-estate agent, his wildly romantic girlfriend, his no-nonsense theatrical agent, his wheeler-dealer producer and the most famous Hamlet of all, John Barrymore — whose ghost wreaks havoc with Andrew's life."

The part of Barrymore has already been pre-cast, but the rest of the roles are still open — and all are plum parts into which the actors and actresses can really sink their teeth. "I love this play," said Wilson. "It has special effects, and John Barrymore — who comes back in all his glory and turns things upside down. As a ghost, he coaches [Rally] how to play Hamlet — and the guy just doesn't want to do it."

Acting experience isn't necessary. Said Wilson: "We're trying to reach out to the community." But actors and actresses who have resumes should bring them, headshots (if possible) and a list of rehearsal-time conflicts. Men should indicate if they have any fencing experience.

Auditions will be by cold readings. The cast is three men and three women, and the ages range from mid-20s to early 40s, with one woman in her 70s who speaks with a German accent — however, the ages are flexible. Besides Barrymore, the characters are as follows:

Felicia Dantine: A larger-than life, New York City real-estate agent who's passionate about Manhattan apartments, she's sold Barrymore's apartment, sight-unseen, to Rally. She has some Queens nasality in her speech and is in her 30s.

Andrew Rally: A handsome, Los Angeles TV star whose hit series has just ended. He has definite star quality and is an all-around good guy in his 30s.

Deidre McDavey: Rally's girlfriend, she's an actress and a creature who wants everything perfect for romance; she's in her mid-20s to mid-30s.

Lillian Troy: She's Rally's tough-as-nails agent — and, once in her long-ago youth, she had a fling with Barrymore in Rally's apartment. She's a smoker, in her 70s, and has a slight German accent. The 1950s movie star, Celeste Holme, played her in the original, Broadway version of "I Hate Hamlet."

Gary Peter Lefkowitz: He's a Hollywood actor/producer to whom the deal is everything. He has a new series deal for Rally and is both appalling and irresistible; he's in his late 30s.

Possible callbacks will be Wednesday, April 3, from 7-9:30 p.m. The play will be performed June 21-22 and 28-29, at 8 p.m. each night, and June 23 and 30 at 2 p.m. each day, in Chantilly High's theater. For more information, call artistic director Pat Boswell Kallman at 703-263-2085 or e-mail her at pbkallman@aol.com. Do not call the school.