Hamlet The fledgling troupe Trebuchet Players tackles Shakespeare's Hamlet, adding a fresh slant by using elements of "steampunk" in the costuming, referencing elements from the 19th-century industrial revolution. The very good news is that Hamlet is portrayed by Aaron Echegaray, in an exciting, vivid characterization that captures the self-confidence of a prince, the wit of an intellectual and the showmanship of a circus ringmaster. Echegaray uses the set's carnival atmosphere to provide a bravura performance with authority and power. Jonathan Gonzalez plays Claudius, new king of Denmark, a regicide, and one might expect a sense of deep evil hidden by a velvet glove, but Gonzalez fails to convey this. Cheryl Tanner plays Gertrude, Hamlet's mother, who as bride to the new king has weathered the storm, but she simply looks unhappy. Clarity Welch as Ophelia has carnival clown makeup around her eyes, so the choice to follow through and vary the usual ethereal characterization, portraying her as earthy and robust, is wise. Michael Raabe plays Polonius as a man of action, despite the platitudinous nature of his homilies. Wade Consoulin is excellent as the ghost of Hamlet's father. Rosencrantz (Chelsea Curto) and Guildenstern (Sam Martinez) enter joined at the shoulder as though Siamese twins, a visual joke that works well on their first appearance but less well when it's repeated. Laertes is portrayed by a female actor, Sarah Heddins, who is athletic and poised. Julie Oliver plays the gravedigger, a sly humorist, but shows no joy in her wit. Kathy Drum directed, adding vitality to many scenes, but the carnival mood ­escaped most actors. This revenge play has the force of a juggernaut, fueled by the remarkable, stunning performance of Aaron Echevaray as Hamlet. Through December 14. Obsidian Art Space, 3522 White Oak. 318-423-0281. — JJT

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