Light & Verity

Hamlet’s midlife crisis

Paul Giamatti stars in a Yale Rep production.

Joan Marcus

Joan Marcus

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Put “45-year-old man starring in Hamlet” on a poster, and you’ll get a good deal of skepticism—given that the Danish prince is supposed to be a college student. Put “Paul Giamatti in Hamlet” on a poster, and you’ll get a sold-out run. That’s how it worked out for the Yale Repertory Theatre this spring: Paul Giamatti ’89, ’94MFA, the Emmy-winning and Oscar-nominated actor and son of former Yale president A. Bartlett Giamatti ’60, ’64PhD, was a huge draw in his hometown.

The overall production, directed by drama school dean James Bundy ’95MFA, got middling reviews, but Giamatti himself won over critics despite his decidedly middle-aged portrayal. The Boston Globe, calling his Hamlet an “antic Everyschlub,” said the portrayal reached “white-hot intensity.”

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