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Shakespeare Theatre's "Hamlet" Gives Great Saxe


Hamlet is the great Dane that every actor wants to sink his teeth into. The role is a prime event for someone who wants to show his range and agility as an actor and demonstrate that he is up to any and every role. This has been the case for the more than 400 years since the tragedy was first performed. It is no less a tour de force today.
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Fiery Passions in a Chilly Denmark

The New York Times

The Shakespeare Theater of New Jersey's stunning new "Hamlet," directed by Bonnie J. Monte, is a study in contrasts: the cold, stark setting of a menacing steel drawbridge, representing the "prison" that Denmark has become to its troubled prince, juxtaposed with the fiery passions of the characters.
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'Hamlet' a royal success

The Daily Record

Bonnie Monte, artistic director of the Shakespeare Theatre of New Jersey in Madison, introduced her long-awaited production of "Hamlet'' Saturday night by stating, "I've been waiting 30 years for this.''

Hard to imagine how it took three decades for New Jersey's first lady of classic theater to hook up with Shakespeare's poster boy for tragedy, but it was worth the wait. Her fresh yet faithful approach may not be a "Hamlet'' for the ages, but Monte and Gareth Saxe, as Denmark's enigmatic prince, are serving method and madness in generous portions.
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Monte's 'Hamlet:' slightly different while thought provoking

Recorder Community Newspapers

Most people who see the production of "Hamlet" now playing at The Shakespeare Theatre of New Jersey have, in all likelihood, seen the play staged by someone else sometime earlier. And that's a good thing because what we have now in Madison, where Bonnie J. Monte has both designed and directed, is not a definitive staging but rather one that is creatively rich and filled with interpretations that become apparent only in contrast to what’s come before.
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In this vividly accessible production of Hamlet, Director Bonnie J. Monte stages the tragedy with a sense of tableaux and intimacy.

First up in this season of Hamlet (being performed on both sides of the Hudson) is a vividly accessible production by the Shakespeare Theater of New Jersey. Artistic Director Bonnie J. Monte has staged the tragedy with a sense of tableaux, intimacy and urgency at sword point.
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Hamlet a triumph of Shakespearian proportions


By popular acceptance, "Hamlet" is Shakespeare's masterpiece. Some high school English teachers might pick "Julius Caesar" or perhaps "MacBeth." A few on the university level might prefer "Othello." But the tragedy of the tortured Dane inspires actors and audiences and has in the four centuries of its existence.
More than 10,000 books have been written on this single play, plus hundreds of productions. Some, of course, fail rather badly, but all attempt to "pluck out the heart of the mystery" of the work. The latest is at The Shakespeare Theatre of New Jersey, nestled into the beautiful campus of Drew University, in Madison.
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This production highlights the fun of language and humor while putting the action on a human scale

The Princeton Packet

ANY director who takes on Hamlet stands at the foot of a mountain: centuries of performances, myriad interpretational contexts and approaches, political axes ground in its name, and the near-ossification of the most familiar soliloquies in the English language. And at any one time there are bound to be simultaneous productions that beg comparison, if not legendary past ones that have stuck in the mind.
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To be or not to be an original: 'Hamlet' surprisingly staged at Shakespeare Theatre of N.J.

The Star Ledger

Shakespeare's most famous character -- that Prince of Denmark -- has been performed in so many ways for so many centuries, a theatergoer might assume there's no new way to play it.

Perhaps the fascinating take that Gareth Saxe and director Bonnie J. Monte have brought to "Hamlet" at the Shakespeare Theatre of New Jersey has been done before. For all we know, over the centuries since Shakespeare wrote the play, some long-deceased actor in some now-razed theater may have staged it just the same incisive way that these two artists have chosen to characterize Hamlet.
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A CurtainUp New Jersey Review


While Hamletomanes eagerly await the arrival on Broadway of Hamlet from London starring Jude Law, there is plenty to savor and consider in the markedly idiosyncratic performance of Gareth Saxe in the Shakespeare Theater production under the direction of Bonnie J. Monte. Saxe, who played Joey last season in the highly regarded Broadway revival of Harold Pinter's The Homecoming, is having an impressive season in New Jersey. In addition to portraying the conflicted Danish prince, he will be seen later in the season at the George Street Playhouse in A Moon to Dance By, a new play by Thom Thomas.
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Creating a Soundtrack for Shakespeare

The New York Times

ON a recent humid Sunday, 26 members of the Harmonium Choral Society shuffled into Grace Episcopal Church here and dropped their belongings among the pews. As they stood in a scattered group, they locked gazes, stretched their arms skyward and hissed at one another.

That was a warm-up for a three-hour session that would culminate in the recording of three minutes of original music, created on the spot, to be woven into the Shakespeare Theater of New Jersey’s production of “Hamlet,” which is running in Madison through Oct. 11. Music previously recorded by the group would be used at other points in the play.
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True to himself: Gareth Saxe tackles Shakespeare's most difficult role

The Star Ledger

To be or not to be Hamlet?
That's an easy question for most classical actors to answer. Give them the chance to play the Bard's Prince of Denmark, and they'll grab it. Though it's Shakespeare's longest role -- 3,924 lines -- and arguably his most difficult, it's a rare dramatic actor who doesn't lust for it.
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Hamlet as a typical college boy of his day

The Record

The question is not so much whether 1,000 monkeys on 1,000 typewriters for 1,000 years can produce “Hamlet.”
The question is whether anybody can produce “Hamlet.”
It generally uncut runs something like four hours and 15 minutes, but we’ve thankfully trimmed it down to a tidy 2:30,” says Gareth Saxe, who will be playing Shakespeare’s most fraught and famous character at the Shakespeare Theatre of New Jersey through Oct. 11.
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