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Naked Hamilton

  • Theater
  • 4 out of 5 stars
  • Recommended

Time Out says

4 out of 5 stars

This being the Fringe, one might assume that Naked Hamilton is an all-nude version of the hit Broadway musical Hamilton. Not so: It is actually a charming 60-minute gem about two drunkards carousing at a local bar in Hamilton, Ontario, a small city not far from Toronto. Tom, brilliantly depicted by Scott McCord, is scruffy and foul-mouthed, with an unkempt beard; completely bombed, he weaves through the audience in his opening rant, in a portrayal so authentic that he seems about to stumble on us or barf on us or both. Tom is anxiously waiting for his ex-lover, Tee—a gum-smacking, middle-aged sex worker, superbly played by Suzanne Bennett—to emerge from the ladies' room. When she finally arrives, just as drunk, their crass dialogue blurs the lines between a fight and a loving exchange.

Serving as both director and playwright, Sky Gilbert makes creative use of every space in the East Village music venue Drom, as the audience pivots in its chairs to follow the characters. Tom and Tee's neighborhood is changing and no longer can accommodate such colorful characters; Gilbert gets us to adore and side with them and share their sense of loss at the gentrification of a bar they have called home. If the play’s ending seems too abrupt—we're not even sure it's over until the house lights come up—that may partly be because we want to stay longer, sit at the bar and guzzle down a whiskey with these bad-mannered but good-hearted souls.—Valerie David

Click here for full Time Out New York coverage of the 2015 New York International Fringe Festival.


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