Rockabye Hamlet is a rock musical with a book, lyrics, and music by Cliff Jones. It is based on the classic tragedy by William Shakespeare and tells the story of a Danish prince who plots revenge on his uncle for killing his father.
The show's original title was Kronborg: 1582. It was commissioned by the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation, which first broadcast it as an episode of the radio series The Entertainers on December 1, 1973. The cast included Cal Dodd as Hamlet and Nancy White as Ophelia. It was staged by the Charlottetown Festival in 1974 and 1975, then toured eastern Canada with Brent Carver as Hamlet and Beverly D'Angelo as Ophelia.
Jones revised the show and retitled it Rockabye Hamlet for a Broadway production that was staged as an all-out rock concert directed and choreographed by Gower Champion. After 21 previews, it opened on February 17, 1976 at the Minskoff Theatre and closed after seven performances. D'Angelo reprised her role of Ophelia, and the rest of the cast included Larry Marshall as Hamlet, Alan Weeks as Claudius, Leata Galloway as Gertrude, Kim Milford as Laertes, Rory Dodd as Horatio, Meat Loaf as the Priest, and Christopher Chadman and Winston DeWitt Hemsley as Rosencrantz and Guildenstern.
In 1981, Jones revised the show once again. It was staged as Somethin' Rockin' in Denmark at the Odyssey Theatre in Los Angeles. In 2003, it was revived for a tour of schools in Canada.
In the summer of 2008, with a revised script and score by Jones, it was presented at the St. Lawrence Centre for the Arts in downtown Toronto by Larry Westlake and capricorn 9 productions.
Broadway song list
- "Kronborg: 1582".The Canadian Encyclopedia.
- Kenrick, John."Stage Musicals 1970s - Part 1". Musicals 101.
- Cast Albums Database. Rockabye Hamlet (Original Broadway Cast Recording). Released 1976.