The worlds of stage and screen are no stranger to Shakespearean adaptation: Disney’s THE LION KING, Akira Kurosawa’s THE BAD SLEEP WELL, and Tom Stoppard’s ROSENCRANTZ AND GUILDENSTERN ARE DEAD to name a very few. Rarely in this world of ours, however, has their been a more strangely inspired and completely outlandish interpretation than director/composer Rudolf Volz’s HAMLET IN ROCK.
Imagine, if you will, an adaptation of William Shakespeare’s HAMLET set in outer space and revolutionized as a rock ‘n’ roll musical complete with 24 original songs, each using Shakespeare’s original text as inspiration. Believe it or not, this is HAMLET IN ROCK! Hamlet is a whiny goth, Queen Gertrude wears a bright red penis-shaped crown, and the gravedigger is an incomprehensible three-eared space rabbit, which is never explained. These are only a handful of the diversions and delights that lie in store for the viewer of HAMLET IN ROCK, a rock musical unlike any other set to take over Music Monday!
HAMLET IN ROCK is the brainchild of German writer/composer Rudolf Volz. In his former life, Volz was a mathematician and software designer, who received his several degrees both in his home country of Germany and abroad here in the United States. After graduating with his Ph.D from Claremont Graduate University, Volz worked for seven years as a self-employed software designer, until the sale of a major piece of software allowed him to pursue the dream that was born with his 1975 turn as Wagner in a high school production of Christopher Marlowe’s FAUST. Volz would leave the world of software design and turn to life as a writer/composer for musical theater productions.
Rudolf Volz is a testament to his craft, proof that if you truly dedicate yourself to what you love, people will take notice and the rewards (both personal and professional) will be many. His first productions, FAUST: DIE ROCKOPER and FAUST: DIE ROCKOPER II were both enormous hits in his homeland and continued to be performed to this day.
HAMLET IN ROCK makes its North American debut at the Alamo Drafthouse this Music Monday (10/15) at 10:00 PM and we could not be more excited to share with you a whole new way to look at, and to think about, the musicality of Shakespeare’s words. The premise is undoubtedly silly, the execution is surrealistic and inspired by German expressionism (think THE CABINET OF DR. CALIGARI, which we’re showing on 10/28), but we guarantee you’ll walk out of the theater with these songs in your head!
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