Directed by Michole Biancosino
Produced by Project Y Theatre, PM2 Entertainment and Richard Jordan Productions
Nominated for: Outstanding Solo Performance, David Carl
Photo by Jeanette Sears
About the Production
Having triumphed in Celebrity Big Brother, survived Celebrity Rehab with Dr. Drew, taken on Meatloaf and Donald Trump, Keanu Reeves’ favorite costar now undertakes his biggest challenge yet: performing all the parts in Hamlet with outrageous songs and homemade puppets. Carl channels the ultimate Hamlet-ized Busey .
Writer and performer David Carl and director Michole Biancosino talk about creating this offbeat and hilarious one-man show.
What attracted you to this project?
David: I have been a fan of Gary Busey since I was 10 and Hamlet since I was 15. I started making solo shows 5 years ago and 3 years I got this idea and I knew that I had to do it because it made me laugh every time I thought about it.
Michole: David Carl's Celebrity One Man Hamlet was a crazy idea that came from David Carl's infatuation with Hamlet and a certain off-kilter celebrity. The show is born out of an obsession with Shakespeare and the way celebrities will often be cast in the leading role of a show to sell tickets, so it becomes "their" version of whatever play. The project started as a one-time showing at SOLOCOM (at the PIT) created by two old friends - Michole Biancosino and David Carl - and then grew from NY Fringe to Edinburgh Fringe to a current run at Chicago Shakespeare Theatre. It has taken on a life of its own.
What was your favorite part of working on this production?
David: Working with my director Michole Biancosino is a true joy. She is passionate, hilarious, brilliant and one of my best friends. I also loved building all the puppets, and really getting to play Gary Busey is one of the great joys of my life. I play him with pure, aggressive positivity and that is extremely fun.
Michole: It is an insanely funny show. We love doing it for people. We love doing it for ourselves. It is actually a remarkably accurate reading of Hamlet and yet it is a Hamlet turned on its head. We love that people have an unforgettable night at the theatre.
What was the biggest challenge of working on this production?
David: We've done over 45 our shows at festivals or comedy theaters where you have to get on and off stage in 15 minutes due to a high volume of programing. The few times that we got to set up and take down without rushing were pure bliss.
Michole: It was hard to stop laughing. It was also hard to cut the show down. We have about 30 more minutes of material that we don't use.
What is the oddest aspect of this production?
David: Everything about playing Gary Busey doing Hamlet by himself is odd. My personal favorite is when school groups come who have recently read Hamlet. They laugh harder than anyone and there's no sound in the world like the cathartic laughter of someone who was recently forced to read Hamlet.
Michole: Yes! It is still happening. Still running. Still going. Hopefully it will have a long life.
What was it like working with Project Y Theatre
David: Michole Biancosino is a powerhouse. I compare everything else that I do to my experiences working with her.
What is it like working with David Carl?
Michole: David Carl rocks. He just does. He is an insane performer. He does an improvised talkback at the end of each show with audience. He is so talented and slays every show. He also made all his own puppets for this show.
You can follow these artists on Twitter
Project Y Theatre - @ProjectYTheatre
David Carl - @dcorreycarl