Meet the Cast of ‘I Hate Hamlet’ at 2nd Star Productions: Part 5: Daniel Douek

In Part 5 of a series of interviews with the cast of I Hate Hamlet at 2nd Star Productions, meet Daniel Douek.

Daniel Douek.
Daniel Douek.

Joel: Please introduce yourself and tell our readers where they may have seen you in the past year on local stages?

Daniel: My name is Daniel Douek and I am an Engineer and Project Manager. I was very active with theater last year. Two classics, Edward II at the Spotlighters and the Spanish Tragedy at Mobtown. Also, Tales of Ordinary Madness at Fells Point Corner Theater and the musical The Wild Party at Laurel Mills Playhouse. Also, I directed for the first time, Picasso at the Lapin Agile by Steve Martin at Salem Players. I just love the stage!

Why did you want to be part of I Hate Hamlet?

I have the greatest respect for 2nd Star Productions. I really wanted to work with them. Then I researched the play and was fascinated by it. Then I thought I was too old for Andrew, I’m not quite a Barrymore, but maybe I would be able to play the other guy, Gary.

What does the show have to say to audiences of all ages?

Follow your dreams. If the path is difficult your passion will energize you!

Who do you play in the show and how do you relate to your character?

I play Gary. The thing we have in relation is that we both have a lot of energy. The things that drive us could not be anymore different but we both have energy and we aren’t afraid to go for it. And…we both can move our hips really well!

Have you appeared in other productions of I Hate Hamlet before and who did you play and how is this production different and unique?

I am an I Hate Hamlet virgin.

What is your favorite scene in the show that you are not in and why? What is your favorite scene that you are in and why?

There are many, but I would say that my favorite scene is the interaction between Barrymore and Andy when Barrymore confesses to Andy his issues during his acting career, his problems with alcohol and women, and then he talks about how he took the easy path. He desperately tries to convince Andy to avoid the same mistakes. Barrymore strikes me like a father advising his son “do not be like me”. Be better!

My favorite scene I am in is when I describe the new show I propose to Andy named Night School. I think the scene is very physical and a lot of fun to do.

Which character in the show is most like you and why?

I would say Andy. He tries to follow his dreams and would not compromise.

Daniel Douek as  Writer-Producer-Director Gary Peter Lefkowicz in 'I Hate Hamlet.' Photo courtesy of 2nd Star Productions.
Daniel Douek as Writer-Producer-Director Gary Peter Lefkowicz in ‘I Hate Hamlet.’ Photo courtesy of 2nd Star Productions.

What do you admire most about your fellow castmates’ performances?

Each character has a very well defined and distinctive personality. Its just a pleasure to watch those characters developing day after day. But here are some details of what I admire the most in the characters: Barrymore-Presence and classic skills (he is a King every year after all)!/ Andy-how truthful he is with the character, I followed Zak since he played Christopher Wren in The Mousetrap in 2008 he is a great actor, Malarie – how well she plays this naïve Deirdre, her energy and her voice when she “pretends” not having a good one! Lillian: I admire the way she plays a woman with a tumultuous past in a way you would never tell…, Felicia- her ability to perform a sweet and pushy real estate agent and for being the only one liking Gary..

How did you prepare for your role and what were the biggest challenges you faced and how did you resolve them?

I played obnoxious hyper-energetic roles in the past. I felt immediately identified with Gary. I would say my biggest challenge is opening champagne bottles in time (chuckles here!)

What was the best advice or suggestions your director gave you about playing your character?

Pause, pause, pause (chuckles….)! Love the way John envisioned my character. I also got the task to check past performances of Evan Handler in Californication as reference. BTW we both strike same hair style as well.

Why should audience goers bring their families to see I Hate Hamlet?

Because it is going to be a lot of fun, it includes some great classic lines and finally because it shows that following your dreams will make you happy at the end.

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I Hate Hamlet plays through this Sunday, February 22, 2015 at 2nd Star Productions performing at Bowie Playhouse – 16500 White Marsh Park Drive, in Bowie, MD. For tickets, call (410) 757-5700 or (301) 832-4819, or purchase them online.

Meet the Cast of ‘I Hate Hamlet’ at 2nd Star Productions: Part 1: Fred Nelson.

Meet the Cast of ‘I Hate Hamlet’ at 2nd Star Productions: Part 2: Zak Zeeks.

Meet the Cast of ‘I Hate Hamlet’ at 2nd Star Productions: Part 3: Carole Long.

Meet the Cast of ‘I Hate Hamlet’ at 2nd Star Productions: Part 4: Malarie Novotny.

Review of I Hate Hamlet on DCMetroTheaterArts by Wendi Winters.

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Joel Markowitz
Joel Markowitz is the Publisher and Editor of DCMetroTheaterArts. He founded the site with his brother Bruce to help promote the vast riches of theatre and the arts in the DC Metro area that includes Maryland, Virginia, and DC theater and music venues, universities, schools, Children's theaters, professional, and community theatres. Joel is an advocate for promoting the 'stars of the future' in his popular 'Scene Stealers' articles. He wrote a column for 5 years called ‘Theatre Schmooze’ and recorded podcast interviews for DC Theatre Scene. His work can also be seen and read on BroadwayStars. Joel also wrote a monthly preview of what was about to open in DC area theatres for BroadwayWorld. He is an avid film and theater goer, and a suffering Buffalo Bills and Sabres fan. Joel was a regular guest on 'The Lunch and Judy Show' radio program starring Judy Stadt in NYC. Joel founded The Ushers Theatre Going Group in the DC area in 1990, which had a 25-year run when it took its final curtain call last year. Joel is a proud member of The American Critics Association.


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