Sam Waterston’s Polonius also overdoes the clowning.

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In many ways, Hamlet’s arc is a parallel one, but it lacks clarity and depth here, echoing the ponderous and underfocused production’s inability to maintain fluid momentum.

Stuhlbarg’s Hamlet seems too lightheaded to be haunted; the character’s inaction is more exasperating than ever and his inner conflict less articulated.

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Pleasing as it is to see Waterston back on a New York stage (the same one on which he played Hamlet in 1975), his performance is an unresolved battle between a well-meaning, good-hearted man and an ineffectual fool, which also contributes to lower the emotional stakes.

Favoring naturalistic, conversational delivery over speechy artificiality, the other cast members are an uneven mix, most of them lacking any inner life and rarely justifying Hamlet’s obsessive preoccupation.

Given that so many stagings have dispensed, to no great textual loss, with scenes concerning the advance of the Norwegian army led by Fortinbras (Piter Marek), their emphatic inclusion here further unbalances the uninvolving production.