Buford at the Strand Theatre

Dave Erwin never saw any ghosts or tried to murder his uncle while he was growing up in East Texas, but somehow Hamlet seemed very familiar to the playwright, sort of like home. So what did Erwin do? He reworked the play as Buford, setting it in the Lone Star state. The play makes its world premiere today at The Strand Theatre in Galveston. According to Erwin, “As a way of studying the play and keeping it fresh, I began writing my own version.” Thankfully — for those of us who appreciate Shakespeare via Cliffs Notes — Erwin’s version is a comedy. In this retelling, familiar characters assume new monikers (Uncle Claudius is now, appropriately, Uncle Dick), and Denmark becomes a dairy farm. Erwin admits the production casts aside the usual Hamlet pretensions, but, he says, “Maybe we can make you laugh.” Buford opens the 30th season at The Strand Theatre.
Fridays, Saturdays, 8 p.m.; Sundays, 2:30 p.m. Starts: Sept. 7. Continues through Sept. 30, 2007

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