In this lush, magical, queer, and feminist take on Hamlet in modern-day New York City, a neuro-atypical philosopher, along with his best friend Horatio and artist ex-fiancé Lia, are caught up in the otherworldly events surrounding the death of his father.
Meet Ben Dane: brilliant, devastating, devoted, honest to a fault (truly, a fault). His Broadway theater baron father is dead--but by purpose or accident? The question rips him apart.
Unable to face alone his mother's ghastly remarriage to his uncle, Ben turns to his dearest friend, Horatio Patel, whom he hasn't seen since their relationship changed forever from platonic to something...other. Loyal to a fault (truly, a fault), Horatio is on the first flight to NYC when he finds himself next to a sly tailor who portends inevitable disaster. And who seems ominously like an architect of mayhem himself.
Meanwhile, Ben's ex-fiancé Lia, sundered her from her loved ones thanks to her addiction recovery and torn from her art, has been drawn into the fold of three florists from New Orleans--seemingly ageless sisters who teach her the language of flowers, and whose magical bouquets hold both curses and cures. For a price.
On one explosive night these kinetic forces will collide, and the only possible outcome is death. But in the masterful hands of Lyndsay Faye, the story we all know has abundant surprises in store. Impish, captivating, and achingly romantic, this is Hamlet as you've never seen it before.
Faye (The Paragon Hotel), who's written Sherlock Holmes pastiches and historical mysteries, as well as reimagined Jane Eyre as a serial killer, further showcases her versatility with this enthralling riff on Hamlet, set in contemporary New York City. Twenty years after a fire claiming the life of an unidentified victim devastated the New World's Stage Theatre, its owner, Jackson Dane, dies unexpectedly. Dane posthumously reveals the truth behind his demise in a medium more appropriate to the 21st century: video, having left behind a recording for his son, Benjamin. In it, Dane voices his fears that someone is trying to kill him and points the finger at his brother, Claude, who marries Dane's widow, Trudy, soon after Dane's death. Benjamin searches for the truth, aided by his friend and lover, Horatio Patel, and his ex-fiancee, Lia Brahms, whose father, Paul, had run the New World's Stage. Shakespeare devotees will be impressed at the variations Faye introduces to the play's plotline, and Faye's considerable descriptive gifts are on ample display (a sunrise is depicted as having "the palette of an eighties movie where the girl remakes herself by taking her glasses off"). Fans and newcomers alike will delight in Faye's remarkable achievement.