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TO NOV. 9
Hamlet without the Bard’s words, you say? What kind of people would so trample the prose of this most esteemed literary figure? Well, New York-based Tiny Ninja Theater Company staged Macbeth with a cast of little plastic people. Troma Films’ Tromeo & Juliet combined tragedy with bondage and discipline. And then there was Julie Taymor’s bizarre Titus, featuring Jonathan Rhys-Meyers in red pleather pants. Now, the Synetic Theaterhelmed by Georgia natives Irina and Paata Tsikurishvilihas embarked upon its second D.C.-area run of Hamlet…The Rest Is Silence, in which all the dialogue in Shakespeare’s play is disposed of. The production grabbed several Helen Hayes Awards for its spring 2002 staging, but still had trouble convincing some purist critics. (Synetic’s production is ballet as much as it is theater, so it’s not hard to understand why.) But the show is impressive for its range, power, and grace. Set to fellow Georgian Giya Kancheli’s unearthly music, the choreography (by Irina Tsikurishvili, who also plays Ophelia) is intricate and pleasingly subtle. In the top male roles, Paata Tsikurishvili is expressive as the mute Hamlet (pictured, with Catherine Gasta as Gertrude), and Irakli Kavsadze’s hulking, bearded presence makes him a formidable Claudius. Those performances often overwhelm such second-tier characters as Horatio and Laertes over the production’s 80-minute length, though, compounding the problem that, without dialogue, it’s difficult to distinguish among everyone if you don’t have the plot at your fingertips. So crib a bit before the show, which starts at 8 p.m. Thursdays through Saturdays and at 2 & 7 p.m. Sundays, to Sunday, Nov. 9, at the Rosslyn Spectrum, 1611 N. Kent St., Arlington. $25-$32. (202) 462-5364. (Mike DeBonis)