Jude Law is likely to contend at the Tony Awards for his triumph in the title role of "Hamlet." The two-time Oscar nominee was cheered by the critics for leading this transfer of the acclaimed Donmar Warehouse production. Law would be the third actor nominated for a Tony Award for playing this juiciest of William Shakespeare's roles.
Of the 10 other productions of "Hamlet" to play on Broadway since the founding of these top theater kudos, only two of their leading men landed nods: Richard Burton -- he lost the 1964 race to Alec Guinness ("Dylan") -- and Ralph Fiennes, who won in 1995. (Although Burton lost, Hume Cronyn won the featured Tony for his work as Polonius.)
Ben Brantley of the New York Times said Law "approaches his role with the focus, determination and adrenaline level of an Olympic track competitor staring down an endless line of hurdles." And Joe Dziemianowicz of the New York Daily News raved, "Jude Law is giving a spine-tingling and richly layered performance in a new version of 'Hamlet' that makes you forget about his past roles and bad-boy melodramas."
Elysa Gardner of USA Today wrote, "His Hamlet is no brooding philosopher/prince; he's an angry young man, a bundle of nerves forever threatening to explode. But Law also captures the more tender feelings and contradictions that make this tortured hero at once elusive and essentially human, particularly in his soliloquies, which are both muscular and exquisitely lyrical."
And Linda Winer of Newsday said Law "commands virtually every scene in this downtown-black, modern-dress production. He has a focused, varied voice to go with his delicately chiseled fox-face features, and a lithe physical power that propels him from spotlight to spotlight with the effortless virtuosity of a Shakespearean action hero."
Photo credit: Broadhurst Theatre