The Theater: The Dane as Cipher

HAMLET by WILLIAM SHAKESPEARE

The best things in life may be free, but so are some of the worst. Joseph Papp's New York Shakespeare Festival is offering Hamlet for nothing at Central Park's Delacorte Theater, and it is worth nothing.

Sam Waterston is the most maladroit Hamlet to appear on a professional stage in the past decade. He bears not the remotest resemblance to a prince. He is like a little boy throwing a nightlong temper tantrum. His twitchy gestures suggest those of a puppet on the strings of a drunken puppeteer. His voice is...

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