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Ralph Hammann

Email: ralph.hammann@verizon.net

Ralph Hammann

Friendly Maneuvers

by Ralph Hammann August 20, 2015


  At the season’s end, the WTF is certainly pulling out the heavy artillery and scoring direct hits. The titular intervention is intriguingly complex in this American premiere, which boasts dialogue that is refreshingly literate and naturalistic. ...

0 comments Williamstown Theatre Festival Nikos Stage

How I Botched That Story

by Ralph Hammann August 20, 2015


  In program notes for the London premiere of His Girl Friday, John Guare correctly called The Front Page, his source material, “the secret great American play.” As a tribute to its greatness, he has written ...

0 comments Barrington Stage Company

Deep Feelings

by Ralph Hammann August 6, 2015


  Williamstown Theatre Festival has a winner in this world premiere. Everything about Unknown Soldier works wonderfully and generously fulfills the contract that theater should make with its audience. It won’t remain unknown outside of Williamstown ...

0 comments Williamstown Theatre Festival Nikos Stage

Fires Burn Softly

by Ralph Hammann July 30, 2015


  The Paradise is a jazz club and boarding house owned by Blue (a trumpet player) and located in the Paradise Valley area of Detroit in 1949. The area was also known as Blackbottom due to ...

0 comments Williamstown Theatre Festival Main Stage

Dark Magic

by Ralph Hammann July 16, 2015


  This is the best stage production of Cabaret I’ve seen, or am likely to see, in my lifetime. The Bob Fosse film, still the best film musical ever, rang the death knell for the original ...

2 comments Oldcastle Theatre Company

A Joyful Sound

by Ralph Hammann July 16, 2015


  One of the best seldom-produced musicals, Bells are Ringing, is getting the full bells-and-whistles treatment at the Colonial by the most ridiculously talented cast and crew artistic director Kate Maguire has ever assembled. It is ...

0 comments Colonial Theatre

False Hearts

by Ralph Hammann July 9, 2015


  The WTF’s new artistic director, Mandy Greenfield, is boldly setting her own course at the theater that built much of its reputation on reviving classics of American and world theater. Of the eight plays (two ...

0 comments Williamstown Theatre Festival Nikos Stage

Addled and Elevating

by Ralph Hammann July 2, 2015


  When one first encounters David Adkins as Henry David Thoreau on the Unicorn’s dark stage, he is crowing in discordant concert with a rooster, putting one more in anticipation of Peter Pan than the transcendentalist ...

0 comments Berkshire Theatre Group Unicorn Theatre

Year in Cinema 2014: Ralph Hammann

by Ralph Hammann January 2, 2015


  Best of 2014 1. Nightcrawler A wonderfully creepy black comedy that mashes up Taxi Driver and Network and succeeds in creating something original and timely—with what is truly Jake Gyllenhaal’s breakthrough performance as a believable and unforgettable ...


by Ralph Hammann August 21, 2014

  Beautifully sung, smartly set and energetically staged at Oldcastle, My Fair Lady is a splendid fit for the company’s winningly intimate theater, which is currently brimming over with some of the loveliest songs in American ...

Oldcastle Theatre Company

Revenge is Sweet

by Ralph Hammann August 7, 2014


  I had misgivings about this. First, it is an adaptation of a seemingly unadaptable morality play. Second, it bode ill that, given its songwriters’ stature, it never made it to Broadway when written in 1998 ...

Williamstown Theatre Festival Main Stage

Smoke Not Fire

by Ralph Hammann July 31, 2014


  Tortured lovers in a way station on the outskirts of hell are at the center of Sam Shepard’s 70-minute propulsive one-act play. A number of patrons on opening night voiced puzzlement at what the meaning ...

Williamstown Theatre Festival Nikos Stage

Dueling Divas

by Ralph Hammann July 24, 2014


  Former artistic director Jenny Gersten has given WTF audiences a terrific parting gift with this beautifully mounted, deftly written and gloriously acted and directed production. A musical or two aside, it is the best comedy ...

Williamstown Theatre Festival Main Stage

Lost Intentions

by Ralph Hammann July 17, 2014


  Jeffrey DeMunn suffers indignities well and is always a compelling victim. He was ingested by alien jello in the remake of The Blob, given a bloody nose by a tentacled monster in The Mist, and ...

Williamstown Theatre Festival Nikos Stage

Feeling Blue

by Ralph Hammann July 10, 2014


  Let me be clear. George S. Kaufman is one of my heroes, and his collaborations with Moss Hart were defining moments in the golden age of American comedy. But his partnerships with other others were ...

Williamstown Theatre Festival

Best Cinema 2013: Ralph Hammann

by Ralph Hammann December 24, 2013

Tom Hanks stars in Columbia Pictures' "Captain Phillips."

  2013 was a particularly exciting year for women’s performances. Unfortunately, the list of best films does not pay tribute to all of the great work done by actresses. So, in addition to those cited therein, ...

Mild Pinterest

by Ralph Hammann August 15, 2013


  It would be a gross understatement to say that Blood Play is the most unusual play of the Williamstown Theatre Festival season; indeed this curiosity left many patrons scratching their heads and expressing a different ...

Williamstown Theatre Festival Nikos Stage

Verdi It Ain’t

by Ralph Hammann August 7, 2013


  The success of Robert James Waller’s pretentious and ripe novel with its inane prose and cliche-ridden plot was baffling. More puzzling was why a director as discriminating as Clint Eastwood would want to wallow in ...

Williamstown Theatre Festival

Home Run

by Ralph Hammann August 1, 2013

  That this delight hasn’t yet made it to Broadway is perplexing, but perhaps this smash production will change its fortune. Certainly, it can’t be that a musical set in Fenway Park would not be welcome ...

Williamstown Theatre Festival Nikos Stage

An Imperfect Creation

by Ralph Hammann July 25, 2013


  Too few people are familiar with the play that inspired My Fair Lady (and fewer still with the superior Leslie Howard/Wendy Hiller film version that proved most influential in the adaptation), which is a shame ...

Williamstown Theatre Festival Main Stage

Fresh Ham

by Ralph Hammann July 18, 2013

  With Northern Boulevard, Oldcastle promises a new old-fashioned musical. If you’re expecting Berlin, Porter or Gershwin, this show won’t quite provide the trip back, but if you’ll accept lesser Loesser, it should do quite nicely. ...

Oldcastle Theatre Company

Myth and Magic

by Ralph Hammann July 18, 2013


  If you’ve yet to experience the delight that is to be found at the peripatetic Mettawee River Theatre Company, check the schedule on their website (mettawee.org) and find the next outdoor performance of their new ...


by Ralph Hammann July 3, 2013


  The failure of the American Dream is scarily common subject matter these days, and one fears that the latest take on it might be as stale as week-old bread that has not been genetically modified ...

Williamstown Theatre Festival Nikos Stage

Oscar Grouch

by Ralph Hammann February 28, 2013


  Once again we have witnessed that celebration of competition in the most ridiculous of venues, motion pictures. The Oscars are useful only for promoting the rare piece of artful entertainment that might otherwise go overlooked ...

1 comment

The Year in Cinema: Ralph Hammann

by Ralph Hammann January 3, 2013


  Best of 2012 1. Life of Pi Like Avatar and Hugo before it, Ang Lee’s film uses 3-D to realize a unique world that immerses us completely. By turns magical and uncannily realistic, this is the year’s ...