USA Today (US), January 24, 1995
'Hamlet' is Keanu's speed
by Jeannie Williams and David Patrick Stearns
"To be, or not to be a totally excellent Hamlet."
That's the question, wrote Winnipeg Sun critic Riva Harrison, reviewing Keanu Reeves in a sold-out run at Canada's Manitoba Theatre Centre.
The Speed star and former movie-dude Ted excels at swordplay but was "nervous and uncomfortable" opening night in more thoughtful scenes, Harrison wrote. Kevin Prokosh of the Free Press said Reeves "pulled off a princely performance," but was not exceptional in his soliloquy.
But Reeves, 30, is packing the house through Feb. 4. His mom, and pals David Geffen and Jeffrey Katzenberg are said to plan visits. But Reeves' managers won't let the theater give tickets to U.S. media.
At 17, Reeves worked with Hamlet director Lewis Baumander in Romeo and Juliet in Toronto. He gets $2,000 or so a week, but told Harrison as a teen he shared Hamlet's "alienated sensations," wrestled with "to be, or not to be."
Reeves signed photos till 4 a.m. opening night. He brought a guitar to unwind: "I can play Hamlet, Hamlet, Hamlet, practice my iambic," he quipped.