Strange Brew

This Canadian cult classic sets Hamlet in a brewery

Hamlet has been subjected to some great screen adaptations — and some totally outlandish ones. There’s animator Mike O’Neal’s Green Eggs and Hamlet, which keeps the plot pretty well intact, but in Dr. Seuss-ian rhythm. Two Milwaukee DJs recently released indie comedy Hamlet A.D.D., about a royal Dane in need of Ritalin. And then there’s Strange Brew, the 1983 Canadian comedy that made Shakespeare’s play into a story mostly about beer.

The bubbling brothers Bob and Doug McKenzie (Dave Thomas and Rick Moranis), who stand in for Hamlet’s moronic chums Rosencrantz and Guildenstern, are hired as quality inspectors in an industrial brewery. The beer factory — just like the kingdom in Hamlet — is under the control of the power-mad brother of its mysteriously murdered former ruler. There are some small differences, of course. In this case, the villain plans to use subliminal messages in beer ads to take over the world, and the Hamlet character is a mumbling hockey player who suffered a career-ending nervous breakdown. 11:55 p.m. today and tomorrow. Landmark River Oaks Theatre, 2009 West Gray. For tickets and information, call 713–866–8881 or visit www.landmarktheatres.com. $6 to $9.
Fri., March 21, 11:55 p.m.; Sat., March 22, 11:55 p.m., 2008

 
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