Preview: ‘Hamlet The Rock Musical’ rocks at El Portal Theatre Feb. 14-23

 Hamlet, the brooding Prince of Denmark, is one of Shakespeare’s most iconic characters. But who knew the melancholy man-child could rock the house!

 It will happen at the historic El Portal Theatre when HAMLET THE ROCK MUSICAL premiers Friday, February 14, on The Debbie Reynolds Mainstage at the El Portal, with eight performances only for its special limited run through Sunday, February 23, 2020.

 Hamlet The Rock Musical offers a kick-butt great show that is part theatre, part concert, with awesome singers that make the songs soar, plus dazzling dancing. If this is a Shakespeare tragedy—give me more!

 Hamlet The Rock Musical is based on Shakespeare’s classic story of moody Prince Hamlet, who works through his grief by seeking revenge for his father’s murder. He sees his father’s ghost, his mother Gertrude marries his murdering uncle, the new king Claudius. Hamlet rejects his lady-love Ophelia. And he contemplates life and death, among other madness.

 This show will fill the theatre with songs infused with rock’n’roll swagger, inventive staging, incredible state-of-the-art technology, and dynamic contemporary dance.

 The multifaceted cast includes the impressive Payson Lewis perfectly cast as the hot rockstar Hamlet (follow him @paysonlewis). He is supported by Fatima El–Bashir (Ophelia) (see @fatima.el_bashir); Kevin Bailey (Claudius), Carly Thomas Smith (Gertrude), Thomas Hobson (Horatio), Ian Littleworth (Laertes), Larry Cedar (Polonius), Michael Deni (Marcellus), Justin Michael Wilcox (Rosencrantz), Alli Miller (Guildenstern), Steve B Green (Ghost/Priest), and the members of the ensemble. All brought together by the award winning casting director Michael Donovan and casting associate Richie Ferris.

 The show has an award winning creative team with director Bill Castellino (Cagney, Grumpy Old Men, Lizzie Borden, Rent, Gypsy, etc.) helming the anthem-driven original score by composer/lyricist Cliff Jones. Additional music, lyrics and orchestrations by Craig Fair, who collaborated on arrangements with multi-talented Music Director and Conductor Doug Oberhamer for the ‘live’ orchestra. Also, choreography by Janet Roston.

 Concert producer David Carver (Tom Petty and The Heartbreakers, Aerosmith, Bob Seger, Sheryl Crow etc.) recalls previous versions of the production where during intermission, “I watched people literally leave their seats and go straight to the box office and buy tickets for the next available performance. The shows were that good. With the cast and creative talent assembled, and additions of elaborate sets, lighting and video projection, the shows that were that good will be even more spectacular.”

 This is a great show that been percolating for many years. In 1976 on Broadway, just 11 songs into the 2-hour performance, the audience erupted into a show-stopping standing ovation. A well-earned show-ending standing ovation followed every night proving how powerful and moving this musical was in 1976. That bodes well for its revival showcase at the El Portal, with the re-imagined 21st century version of Hamlet The Rock Musical.

 HAMLET THE ROCK MUSICAL WORLD TOUR 2020 – premiering in Los Angeles at The El Portal Theatre, FEBRUARY 2020: Friday, Feb. 14;  Saturday, Feb. 15; Sunday Feb. 16; Wednesday, Feb. 19; Thursday, Feb. 20; Friday, Feb. 21; Saturday, Feb. 22; and Sunday, Feb. 23, 2020.

 For tickets visit or call the box office at (818) 508-4200. The El Portal Theatre is located at 5269 Lankershim Blvd. in North Hollywood, California. For information visit

Margie Barron has written for a wide variety of outlets including Gannett newspapers, Nickelodeon, Tiger Beat and 16 Magazine, Fresh!, Senior Life, Production Update, airline magazines, etc. Margie is also proud to have been half of the husband & wife writing team Frank & Margie Barron, who had written together for various entertainment and travel publications for more than 38 years.