Hamlet Reviews

To be or not to be an original: 'Hamlet' surprisingly staged at Shakespeare Theatre of N.J.

by Peter Filichia/For The Star-Ledger

Jacqueline Antaramian deftly plays Gertrude as an aging queen who needed a new man in her life to feel young. He's Robert Cuccioli, a most effective Claudius, whose slightly off-center demeanor captures the guilty conscience of the king. How well he displays the difficulties of being a new stepfather to a moody son, too. Monte cleverly also has Cuccioli double as the Ghost of Hamlet's Father; given that they were brothers, there well could be this much of a resemblance between the two. John Hickok excels as the clueless windbag Polonius

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              A CurtainUp New Jersey Review

To this end we have Cuccioli's charismatically sinister performance as King Claudius, a "king of shred and patches," whose virile countenance makes him the production's most formidable presence. It is easy to see how Queen Gertrude (Jacqueline Antaramian) has been seduced and duped by her brother-in-law

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The Alternative Press

To Hamlet They Were True


Ms. Monte has most definitely succeeded in both set design and directing and they blend perfectly when the Ghost of Hamlet’s father appears. He is played by Robert Cuccioli, who plays Claudius. Cuccioli is incredible and very frightening. It is impossible to tell that they are one in the same. As he walks along the periphery of the stage, his movement, the delivery of his lines, it is pure theatrical genius and magic. Costume designer Hugh Hanson adds to the magic, by giving the Ghost an air of foreboding and darkness, allowing him to glide across the stage.

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Examiner.com

Playing a dual role as King Claudius and the Ghost, Robert Cuccioli is charming and convincing as Claudius tries to be the warm, congenial King. As his true personality unfolds, his actions take on more of an urgent nature and we see him doing what needs to get done to protect his position without an ounce of remorse. Mr. Cuccioli is always a strong presence on any stage; and that strength adds to the characterization of the treacherous King Claudius

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Daily Record.com

His primary opponent, of course, is his ambitious uncle, Claudius, who seems eager to be a good king but is tortured by the realization that he was capable of poisoning his brother and sovereign. The always reliable Robert Cuccioli gives equal clarity to both sides of Claudius, building a compelling and occasionally sympathetic character.

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DrewAcorn.com

Monte has most definitely succeeded in both set design and directing, and they blend perfectly when the ghost of Hamlet's father appears. He is played by Cuccioli, who also plays Claudius. Cuccioli is incredible and very frightening. It is impossible to tell that they are one in the same. As he walks along the periphery of the stage, his movement and the delivery of his lines are pure theatrical genius and magic. Costume designer Hugh Hanson adds to the magic by giving the ghost an air of foreboding and darkness, allowing him to glide across the stage.

What is more, this "Hamlet" is in good company. Cuccioli, in his eighth season with the Shakespeare Theatre, is a magnificent, regal Claudius.

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TalkinBroadway.com

Robert Cuccioli increases the evening's wattage with a powerful portrayal of Claudius, Hamlet's murderous uncle and stepfather.  Cuccioli clearly underlines Claudius' knowledge that the murder of his brother has made him a king without moral authority.  Having established this vulnerability, Cuccioli parleys it into creating electricity when Claudius makes his final determination to order Hamlet's murder.  Cuccioli doubles as the Ghost of Hamlet's father.  John Hickok elicits abundant laugher from the vapid pomposity of the foolish Polonius.  He is abetted by the richness of Saxe's mockery of him

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Theater News OnLine

The real triumph here is a performance by Robert Cuccioli, Broadway’s memorable Jekyll and Hyde. Here he doubles as the remorseful King Claudius and the Ghost of Hamlet's Father. Cuccioli has a voice that booms with thunder and fire. His ghost scene summons an eerie presence. His prayer of forgiveness when his “words fly up, and thoughts remain below” is a vividly fervent moment, and his death scene is harrowing.

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New Jersey Room.com

Cuccioli became more regal as his authority was challenged. Director Monte doubtless intended it so and has paced the evening with infinite care

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Central Jersey.com

The New York Times