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ARTS NOTES

'Hamlet' is making quite a scene

March 14, 2004|Don Shirley

In L.A.'s sub-100-seat theater scene, most producers can't afford to spend much on advertising.

But the hoopla for the "Hamlet" opening March 22 at the 85-seat Tamarind Theatre in Hollywood is something else entirely.

Already, the production is being advertised on 12 billboards, as far away from the theater as West L.A., and on two city buses. Television commercials are in the talking stage.

Francesco Vitale, who runs the Tamarind and stars as Hamlet, says the marketing campaign set for the next few months has a $300,000 budget, raised from three investors whom he won't identify. None of the money is his, he insists: "I'm a struggling actor."

The production also might get a PR boost because it and the Tamarind are being used in the shooting of a new HBO comedy series that George Clooney and Steven Soderbergh are producing. But Vitale says revenue from the HBO deal is not paying for the "Hamlet" marketing campaign, which was already in place before the deal was made. In fact, he believes the marketing might have helped attract HBO.

HBO officials declined to discuss the deal except to confirm that the series has filmed both at the Tamarind and during rehearsals for "Hamlet."

-- D.S.

For The Record
Los Angeles Times Wednesday March 31, 2004 Home Edition Main News Part A Page 2 National Desk 0 inches; 30 words Type of Material: Correction
Theater operator -- In an Arts Notes item in the March 14 Calendar section, the last name of Tamarind Theatre operator and "Hamlet" star Francesco Vitali was misspelled as Vitale.
For The Record
Los Angeles Times Sunday April 04, 2004 Home Edition Sunday Calendar Part E Page 2 Calendar Desk 3 inches; 30 words Type of Material: Correction
Theater operator -- In an Arts Notes item in the March 14 Sunday Calendar, the last name of Tamarind Theatre operator and "Hamlet" star Francesco Vitali was misspelled as Vitale.
For The Record
Los Angeles Times Sunday April 04, 2004 Home Edition Main News Part A Page 2 National Desk 0 inches; 30 words Type of Material: Correction
Theater operator -- In an Arts Notes item in the March 14 Calendar section, the last name of Tamarind Theatre operator and "Hamlet" star Francesco Vitali was misspelled as Vitale.

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