Royal doings in Denmark
VIDEO Mel Gibson makes a surprisingly able "Hamlet" in the engrossing Franco Zeffirelli version of the Shakespearean tragedy. You may know all the details of the plot, but you'll still be caught up in the royal doings in Denmark. Mr. Zeffirelli knows how to take a familiar story and do new things with it. Glenn Close plays Hamlet's mother, and she is even better than Mr. Gibson. Rating: PG. *** To prove the point that the intensity of athletic competition is the same regardless of the level of ability, check out "ABC's Wide World of Sports" today (4:30 p.m., Channel 13). Frank Gifford anchors highlights of the International Special Olympics that recently concluded in Minneapolis. For these athletes with mental and physical challenges, the thrill of victory comes just in the competition. And in the world of top-flight endeavor in this pre-Olympic year, Jim McKay reports from the Pan American Games taking place in Havana, Cuba. A second Pan Am show is scheduled at 5 p.m. tomorrow.
A conniving count
A charming version of Carlo Goldoni's 18th century farce, "The Fan," is being presented by the Bowman Ensemble, a repertory theater in residence at McDonogh School. Rick Davis, associate artistic director at Center Stage, provided the earthy translation that follows the period style of strong physical comedy. Assorted residents of an Italian village all have a special reason to seek the recovery of a woman's fan with very amusing results. Bradford F. Cover is superb as a conniving count. Fine performances by Karen Bishop, Ron Bopst and Carol Dunne. 8 p.m. Grounds of Child's Memorial. Tickets are $10 and $6. Phone 363-9254. "Doc Hollywood," a comedy about a young surgeon who finds himself stranded in a small town, will bring the Frank Capra movies to mind. The town is peopled by characters Capra would have liked, and you'll probably like them, too. Michael J. Fox stars as the surgeon who is on his way to California. Julie Warner is the local girl who falls in love with him but doesn't want to go to California with him. Language, nudity. Rating: PG-13. **