There will be an early-bird breakfast served after the screening,” joked Castle Rock prexy Martin Shafer, alluding to the rather advanced hour at which the “Hamlet” premiere party began. Kenneth Branagh, who helmed, adapted and stars in the new mounting of the Shakespeare classic, welcomed guests at 7 p.m. with a gallant speech thanking his various collaborators in attendance, including the Castle Rockers, pic’s producer, David Barron, and stars both Anglo and American, including Julie Christie, Charlton Heston, Billy Crystal and Jack Lemmon.Some 4-1/2 hours and one intermission later, audience applauded heartily Branagh’s tour de force perf as the unhappy Dane, in which he weeps, wails, smirks, smiles, fences, frowns, bellows and broods – in short does everything but tap-dance. Fete following the screening at the Academy theater saw pic’s principals accepting congrats from other execs and celebs in attendance, including Sharon Stone, Jerry Seinfeld, Candice Bergen, Holly Hunter, Nick Nolte, Mary McDonnell and Forest Whitaker.
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