Under the Stars, the Comedy Must Go On
By ANITA GATES | The New York Times
There are always challenges to doing theater outdoors, as the people at The Shakespeare Theater of New Jersey mounting “The Comedy of Errors” well know.
There are storms, but the cast and audience can take a break and resume when the rain has stopped. There are airplanes, but their passing takes only a minute or two. There are no easy solutions, however, when in the middle of Act II, a bright, noisy fireworks display erupts at a neighboring golf club and threatens to go on forever.
The Shakespeare Theater of New Jersey came through with flying colors (appropriately enough) when that potential disaster befell the troupe last weekend. At first, actors just tried to shout over the booming explosions. Click here to read more.
Double the fun: Actors play twins in 'The Comedy of Errors'
By Peggy McGlone | The Star-Ledger
Members of the student audiences who watched actors Jack Moran and Sean Hudock in Shakespeare LIVE! productions of “Romeo and Juliet” and “A Midsummer Night’s Dream” would often wonder if they were related.
“At almost every talkback, we were asked if we were brothers,” says Hudock, 26, referring to the post-show interviews he and Moran, 30, would do as part of the educational touring company.
The pair take advantage of their physical resemblance in their new roles as identical twin servants in Shakespeare’s slapstick “The Comedy of Errors,” now running at theShakespeare Theatre of New Jersey’s Outdoor Stage in Convent Station. Click here to read more.
Shakespeare's silly side
By Peter Filichia | Daily Record
If there can be “summer movies,’’ why can’t there be “summer plays”? There’s one at the Outdoor Stage in Morris Township, courtesy of the Shakespeare Theatre of New Jersey. It’s the Bard’s “The Comedy of Errors,” which director Jason King Jones has staged in dumb-and-dumber fashion. So there’s plenty of slapstick, which an emphasis on the slap. Sidekicks are there to be kicked. Before it all ends in a neat 1:45, a group of Keystone Kops give chase with billy clubs raised high in pursuit of most everyone in the cast. Why not? ’Tis the season to be silly, and Shakespeare decided to take mistaken identity - which was an old device even in his day - and have four characters victimized by instead of the standard two. The result was double the pleasure and double the fun. It still is in King’s sure-handed production. Click here to read more.
The Shakespeare Theatre of New Jersey offers laughter under the stars
By Bob Brown | The Princeton Packet
SUMMER is upon us with a vengeance, and although some might prefer the cool confines of an air-condi tioned theater, outdoor venues lend themselves to a communal play-going experience that no indoor theater can provide. Such is the Greek Theatre on the College of St. Elizabeth campus in Morris Township, where the Shakespeare Theatre of New Jersey is presenting a family-friendly 95-minute version of The Comedy of Errors through July 29.
Dress as informally as you please and arrive early with your picnic dinner. The general seating in the semi-round encourages interaction - both with other theatergoers and with whatever's on stage and off. There may be some compromises: the heat and humidity at times; and insects (bring bug spray); and the overhead flight path of nearby Morristown Municipal Airport. But these are minor inconveniences when you're seeing the cast really let their hair down. Click here to read more.
A CurtainUp New Jersey Review The Comedy of Errors
By Simon Saltzman | CurtainUp.com
Actors who perform al fresco know how to cope (often amusingly) with the roar of the occasional low-flying plane. But on the opening night of the Shakespeare Theatre of New Jersey’s production of The Comedy of Errors, the actors performing in the amphitheater at the College of St. Elizabeth encountered an even more disruptive situation. An explosion of Fourth of July fireworks erupted in a neighboring town and lit up the night sky at the beginning of Act II. Notwithstanding the increase of sharp crackles and sonic booms, the otherwise dazzling display could not help but become an extended distraction for the actors, as well as it seemed calculated to capture the attention of the audience. What were the actors to do, not only those caught mid-speech, but also those caught off guard in the midst of those frenetic antics that define this farce. Click here to read more.
The Comedy of Errors at Outdoor Stage: Ideal Summer Entertainment for the Entire Family
By Bob Rendell | Talkin' Broadway
Summer after summer, the Shakespeare Theatre of New Jersey has been bringing outstanding family oriented productions of Shakespeare's most popular comedies to its annual Outdoor Stage productions. As this summer's production of the Bard's The Comedy of Errors is inventive and imaginative, lavishly staged, delightfully acted and hilarious. There is little left for a reviewer to do other than to roll out the superlatives.
Most important of the little that is left to do is to remind parents that the plot supporting the underlying shenanigans is more than a bit complicated, and an in home, preliminary familiarizing of younger children with the major characters and the mistaken identity plot is advisable to make certain that none get lost at the get-go. Click here to read more.
'Comedy of Errors' Sparkles with Whimsy at Shakespeare Theatre's Outdoor Production
By Liz Keill | Alternative Press
MADISON, NJ - The amphitheatre at St. Elizabeth College in Convent Station is a perfect setting for the fast-paced, ribald Shakespearean play, “The Comedy of Errors.”
The Shakespeare Theatre of New Jersey is now performing its 11th season at the Greek amphitheatre. for putting on a free-wheeling production, often Shakespeare, but other classics as well. Despite airplanes, fireworks, rain or come what may, the actors carry on with aplomb.
"Comedy of Errors" - Shakespeare Under the Stars
By Sherri Rase | Q On Stage
Each year, Shakespeare Theatre of New Jersey gives a gift to families who want to introduce their loved ones to Shakespeare. On the Outdoor Stage is an annual event that brings families and friends together to enjoy a picnic, in many cases with a little wine and a use for beach chairs that leaves no sand in your shoes. The performance reviewed took place on July 2.
The Greek Theatre on the beautiful, shady campus of the College of St. Elizabeth plays host to “The Comedy of Errors,” playing through July 29. This play has been among Shakespeare’s most successful since it was first performed and is also one of the shortest. It is long on slapstick and, when you have a band of clever actors under the direction of Jason King Jones, you have a masterful work that is fit for the queens and kings, princesses and princes who have Morris County at their feet. Click here to read more.
REVIEW: MISCHIEF AND MAYHEM RULE IN "THE COMEDY OF ERRORS" at STNJ
By Ruth Ross | NJ Arts Maven
"Fast and furious" is a rather murky name for a federal gun-running scheme now under investigation by Congress, but it very aptly describes the Shakespeare Theatre of New Jersey's current production of Shakespeare's The Comedy of Errors, now wreaking havoc at the outdoor stage on the campus of the College of St. Elizabeth in Convent Station!
Adopting the conventions of more modern farce - slamming doors, lots of running around - director Jason King Jones has come up with a totally satisfying and very funny version of this, probably the Bard's first play, that runs a family-friendly 95 minutes with one intermission. The energetic (and talented) cast is up to the task, stopping briefly for an airplane droning over head and for a longer period when a very noisy fireworks display erupted nearby. They came out onstage in character, looked at the sky in amazement, the actor playing the exorcist Dr. Pinch mimed some hocus-pocus and one wag in the audience stood up to sing the national anthem (and was joined by the entire audience). Click here to read more.
Fireworks Punctuate 'Comedy of Errors' Premiere
By William Westhoven | Madison Patch
The magic of live theater has never been more evident than it was Saturday night at the College of St. Elizabeth, where the Shakespeare Theatre of New Jersey premiered its annual outdoor production at the school’s throwback stone-and-grass amphitheater.
Following intermission and sundown, the second act of “The Comedy of Errors” had just begun when a large, loud and very visible fireworks show exploded in the night sky.
The company is known for preparing clever improvisations for airplane interruptions from nearby Morristown Airport, but this lengthy distraction proved to be more of an unexpected challenge. Fortunately, it was no match for this talented troupe, which has 50 years of experience to fall back on. Not only did they soldier on, but they worked it into the show, creating a truly memorable experience for the large and appreciative crowd.
It also helped that “The Comedy of Errors” is one of Shakespeare’s silliest works and productions on this stage are tailored for improvisation and audience interaction. Actors frequently enter and exit on the long stairways through of the Greek Theatre, including the clownish Dromio of Ephesus (Sean Hudock), who stopped to present a flower to a starstruck little girl. Like many of the children in attendance, she also benefitted from the editing (down to two hours, including intermission and fireworks) that is done for the outdoor shows here to make them more family friendly. Click here to read more.
A Joyful Romp through the Centuries in "The Comedy of Errors"
By Bruce Chadwick | History News Network
The Comedy of Errors begins when Ephesian police, looking very much like the Hollywood Keystone Kops of the silent movie era, chase Egeon, a rather dapper looking man from Siracusa who is visiting town, all over the city's boardwalk, jumping up and down, pointing night sticks and frantically blowing whistles. He is condemned to death on a trumped-up charge but assured that he can live if he can raise enough money to pay his fine. Looking for sympathy, he relates the tale of how he lost his wife and two sets of twin sons in a shipwreck.
Egeon then disappears and a young man, Antipholus of Syracuse, arrives with his servant Dromio. They are immediately mistaken for another set of men who have lived in town all of their lives. They don't know what the other set of men are doing and the second set does not know what they are doing. A madcap, slapstick romp ensues that involves oversexed women, confused cops, nuns dressed like Sally Fields in The Flying Nun, women with beards, bankrupt merchants and a really crazy wizard. Everybody seems to chase everyone else over the boardwalk throughout the play. These people can run, too. Someone should grab them off the stage and put them in the London Olympics. Click here to read more.
Explosive night for opening of "Comedy of Errors" at outdoor Shakespeare stage
ByJanine M. Torsiello | Morris Beats
Explosive. That's one way to describe the Shakespeare Theatre of New Jersey's production of "Comedy of Errors" as it was performed Saturday night in the outdoor amphitheater at the College of St. Elizabeth in Madison. Other descriptive words for this performance include amazing, poised, energetic and hilarious.
This fine cast had a lot more than just the rigors of one of Shakespeare's more physically demanding plays with which to contend. They also had to deal with a quite unexpected, very loud and extremely distracting, pre-July 4th fireworks display which exploded overhead during the play. Click here to read more.