A Shakespearean Tale of Far-Flung Adventures
By MICHAEL SOMMERS | The New York Times
The major Shakespearean revivals in New York this year have mostly favored the best-known works: “Romeo and Juliet,” “Macbeth,” “A Midsummer Night’s Dream” and “Twelfth Night.” After revisiting those long-familiar plays, I found it a treat to encounter the Shakespeare Theater of New Jersey’s engaging production of the rarely staged “Pericles” in Madison.
One of Shakespeare’s later creations — and a work that some scholars believe was partly written by a collaborator — “Pericles” exists only in a so-called corrupt text culled from a variety of sources. Though its poetry is sometimes ragged, the story remains potent. A circa 1607 equivalent of today’s road films, “Pericles” depicts a series of far-flung adventures that spans 16 years. It is a crazy, sexy, imaginative yarn, and it is surprising that Tom Hanks hasn’t grabbed the movie rights. Click here to read more.
'Pericles' opens at the Shakespeare Theatre of New Jersey
By RONNI REICH | The Star-Ledger
The stage first appears as a temple to the goddess Diana, all white, pure and sparkling, complete with a pedestal and columns.
But the columns are made of ribbons and are quickly whisked away, and the action shifts to host a Bollywood-style dance, a raging storm at sea and a brothel.
In Shakespeare’s "Pericles," the winds of fate that carry the title character travel at gale force. At the Shakespeare Theatre of New Jersey in Madison, Brian B. Crowe directs a production that dazzlingly and entertainingly conjures new worlds at each step of his journey, with equally strong performances, design and ideas. Click here to read more.
‘Pericles’ at Shakespeare Theatre Blends High Comedy, Deep Drama
By LIZ KEILL | The Alternative Press
“Pericles,” that complicated, convoluted Shakespearean plot, sails along under the astute direction of Brian B. Crowe. The production marks the end of the 51st season for The Shakespeare Theatre of New Jersey, which starts up again in May.
This story takes Pericles, Prince of Tyre, on a meandering journey through Tarsus, Pentapolis, Mytilene and Ephesus. He is first drawn to Antioch, where he may win the hand of Hesperides because he has solved a riddle. But he also discovers that she has an incestuous relationship with her father, Antiochus. Pericles learns he could be put to death and his friend Helicanus encourages him to go to sea until matters cool down. John Hickok plays the kind, concerned the nobleman. Click here to read more.
The Shakespeare Theatre of New Jersey finishes its season with a triumph
By BOB BROWN | The Princeton Packet
To crown its season of new, little-known, or unjustly neglected works, the Shakespeare Theatre of New Jersey finishes with a play that is rarely presented yet richly entertaining. Shakespeare’s Pericles, on stage in Madison through Dec. 29, is even considered by some not to be wholly Shakespeare’s.
In her pre-performance remarks, Artistic Director Bonnie J. Monte suggested that in this challenging year, it would have been prudent to make the safe choices. But presenting great art isn’t about safety — it’s about commitment, and a belief that audiences will respond. Fortunately, STONJ has drawn enthusiastic theatregoers who are happy to discover plays that they might otherwise never see. Click here to read more.
A CurtainUp New Jersey Review: Pericles
By SIMON SALTZMAN | CurtainUp
Considering the season, Shakespeare's Pericles often affixed with Prince of Tyre might benefit from adding to the title, or, How I Got Home for the Holidays. Falling somewhere between Sinbad the Sailor and Days of Our Lives this convoluted, romantic adventure is one of the more picaresque comedies for which the Bard generally takes only partial credit (scholars have submitted the inference that Shakespeare finished, polished and otherwise improved the dramatic prose and poetry of one George Wilkins.) I like to take the position, that if it wasn't written by Shakespeare, it was written by someone almost as good. Click here to read more.
Pericles, Prince of Tyre: Danger, Romance and Humor Delight in Arabian Nights Styled
Shakespeare Theatre Production
By BOB RENDELL | Talkin' Broadway
Although generally attributed to William Shakespeare, Pericles, Prince of Tyre is adjudged by many scholars to have been written at least in part by another. It is lightly considered and little performed. It is certainly fanciful and episodic, and events are often dire. However, whatever limitations it may have on the page, as directed by Brian B. Crowe as the closing production of the Shakespeare Theatre of New Jersey's 2013 season, Pericles is a richly entertaining Arabian Nights fantasy filled to the brim with ear pleasing poetry, an engrossing story, situations and characters about whom we care, adventure, comedy, colorful costumes, evocative music, dance, eye pleasing scenery, and colorful costumes. Click here to read more.
Job Meets Candide in “Pericles” at STNJ
By SHERRI RASE | QOnStage
Shakespeare Theatre of New Jersey’s (STNJ) 2013 regular season finale is Shakespeare’s sweeping dramedy, “Pericles.” One of the most popular plays of Shakespeare in his time, there are some questions about authorship as it neither appears in the first folio, nor does the first half of the play reflect Shakespeare’s style as the second half clearly does. That said, this play is the perfect finish to STNJ’s regular season and an ideal gift—for yourself or others—for this Holiday Season. Click here to read more.
'Pericles' is a mythological mash-up at Shakespeare Theatre of N.J.
By C.W. WALKER | The Daily Record
Nothing says the holidays like incest, beheadings and forced prostitution. “Pericles,” now on stage at the Shakespeare Theatre of New Jersey, on the campus of Drew University in Madison, has it all, including an attempted murder and a couple of shipwrecks thrown in for good measure.
Of course, “Pericles” is not your average Shakespeare. Enormously popular in its day, rarely has it been performed in the centuries since and it’s not hard to see why. It was omitted from the First Folio and most scholars believe Will Shakespeare contributed only the last three acts. The first two were written by George Wilkins, a notorious innkeeper and pimp, and the Jacobean equivalent to a hack writer. Even if you’re not a scholar, listening to the play, you’ll probably be able to hear the difference. Click here to read more.
Review: Pericles a Stylish, Exotic Treat @ STNJ for the Holidays
By RUTH ROSS | News Record | NJ Arts Maven
If you've had your fill of sugar plum fairies and Scrooge but still need a holiday extravaganza "fix," head on over to The Shakespeare Theatre of New Jersey in Madison where Pericles, a little-known, rarely performed bit of Shakespearean "fluff" is being performed in great style.
Written in 1608—not entirely by the Bard—Pericles belongs to the amorphous genre of drama called a "romance," noted for fantastical aspects such as a shipwreck (The Tempest), a dead woman brought back to life (A Winter's Tale), a virgin threatened with deflowering (Measure for Measure), a goddessstepping in to affect the human action (right, Diana and the Chorus) and a long-lost child. The play's episodic nature makes the plot line wander a bit, but Director Brian Crowe has skillfully made cuts to bring the play to a close in just over two hours. Click here to read more.
BWW Reviews: PERICLES at the Shakespeare Theatre of New Jersey - Perfect for the Holidays
By MARINA KENNEDY | Broadway World
The Shakespeare Theatre of New Jersey has a gift for holiday audiences in their final show of the 2013 season, Pericles by William Shakespeare. Even those who have seen Periclesbefore will want to see this production. Directed by Brian Crowe, the inventive staging, an excellent performance script, and a company of talented thespians promise to captivate Madison audiences. The artistic staff brings full life to the production with creative costuming, and extraordinary scenic, lighting and sound design. Click here to read more.
Pericles at Shakespeare Theatre of New Jersey
By PATRICK MALEY | Exeunt Magazine
Pericles – the late-career Shakespearian romance, coauthored with a poet of much lesser ability - spans vast geographical, emotional, and generic terrain. These and other challenges mean that it is rarely produced. But while it is a play of inconsistencies, this Shakespeare Theatre of New Jersey production, with a deft cast under the direction of Brian B. Crowe, draws out the magic and beauty of the play. Click here to read more.
Review: 'Pericles' Four-Star production at Shakespeare Theatre of New Jersey
By RICK BUSCIGLIO | Examiner.com
We applaud artistic director Bonnie Monte and resident director Brian B. Crowe of The Shakespeare Theatre of New Jersey for taking some risk producing one of Shakespeare’s less popular plays "Pericles," an adventure inspired by ancient Greek mythology, think Homer's Odyssey. However, this intricate adventure of incest, attempted murder, kidnapping, shipwreck, death and more has been reshaped into an absolutely first-rate "four star” production.
The Pericles here, no connection to the Greek philosopher, is the Prince of Tyre, a Holy land kingdom. The first two acts offer high drama as Pericles is forced to surrender his crown (temporarily) to outrun an assassin by embarking on a voyage across the ancient Mediterranean where he acquires a wife, only to lose her during childbirth, a daughter that he is forced by necessity to abandon with the King of Tarsus and his villainous wife Dionyza...fortunately this dark aspect of his wandering adventure soon turns bright. Click here to read more.
‘Pericles’ provides an entertaining evening of theatre
By THOM MOLYNEAUX | NorthJersey.com
Without question, Shakespeare Theatre of New Jersey’s production of "Pericles" is an entertaining evening of theater. The question is whether any of it was actually written by William Shakespeare.
Experts agree that the first two acts aren’t the Bard’s, but that part of the third and fourth sound kind of Shakespearian. Of course, there are a couple of lines that sound kind of Neil Simon — a virgin pleading for her life asserts that she’s never even hurt a mouse or a fly, but admits she did step on a worm once but felt bad about it — but no one’s touting Simon as the author of "Pericles." Nor are the "Shakespeare de-bunkers" clamoring to claim "Pericles" the work of Francis Bacon, Christopher Marlowe or the earls of Derby and Oxford. Click here to read more.
By JULIE DAMIANO | Picture Book Reviews
In this less familiar Shakespeare play, Pericles (John Barker) discovers that Antiochus and his daughter are carrying on an incestuous affair. This knowledge exposes him to grave danger as Antiochus sets out to kill him. Pericles flees by ship across the Meditteranean where he competes for the heart of the woman he wishes to marry, Thaisa (Maria Tholl). He wins her heart but soon loses his love during childbirth. He buries her at sea in a floating casket. It drifts to the shores of Ephesus where Cerimon, a doctor, restores her consciousness, unbeknownst to Perricles. Their baby, Marina (Lindsey Kyler), is left in the hands of Dionyza (Jacqueline Antaramian) who raises the girl alongside her own daughter. Click here to read more.
A rare Shakespeare romance is now onstage in Madison
By RALPH MALACHOWSKI | Out in Jersey
Shakespeare’s plays were meant to be seen and heard on the stage. So it is with special pleasure for all of us that the Shakespeare Theatre of New Jersey is now presenting “Pericles” until December 29 at the F.M. Kirby Shakespeare Theatre.
Never appearing in the First Folio, the standard collection of true plays by Shakespeare, it nonetheless was mostly written by Shakespeare. Audience members would be able to discern the Bard’s hand in the tender and poignant scenes between the King and his daughter, and the virgin daughter’s powerful logic used to disarm the most lustful man in the bordello, in order to save her chastity, turning each into a pillar of probity. Click here to read more.