Jan. 11 2012 12:00 AM

Riverwalk's 'Rosencrantz' shakes up Shakespeare


In Shakespeare’s “Hamlet,” the characters of Rosencrantz and Guildenstern are just bit players, roaming the edge of the story, never really getting their moment in the spotlight.

That will no longer be the case at Riverwalk Theatre when Shakespeare’s tragedy is turned upside down and inside out in Tom Stoppard’s “Rosencrantz and Guildenstern Are Dead.”

“(Stoppard) has turned a tragedy into a farcical piece,” said Leo Poroshin, who is making his directorial debut.

“It’s a comedy, but a very smart and clever comedy. Whether you’re familiar with ‘Hamlet’ or not, you’re still going to get something out of it.” 

The absurdist piece expands the roles of the once-minor characters as they offer up bizarre musings on questions including their own existence while running into familiar figures from the original play.

Poroshin refers to Stoppard´s show as an example of “metatheater,” calling it “a play within a play within a play within a play.”

Riverwalk veterans Joseph Dickson and Justin Brewer star as the titular twosome.

Mark Polzin, Wayne Tagg, Donna Green, Chelsea Witgen, George Berghorn, Brian Kardell, Kris Vitols, Angela Wright, Kayla Green, Scott Crandall and Gary Mitchell round out the cast.

´Rosencrantz and Guildenstern Are Dead´

Riverwalk Theatre

228 Museum Dr., Lansing

Through Jan. 22

7 p.m. Thursdays; 8 p.m. Fridays and Saturdays; 2 p.m. Sundays

$14, $12 seniors and students for Friday, Saturday and Sunday shows; $10 adults; $12 seniors and students for Thursday shows.

(517) 482-5700