BWW Review: A MIDSUMMER NIGHTS DREAM at STNJs Outdoor Stage is Totally Enchanting
"Love and reason keep little company nowadays."
By Nick Bottom in A Midsummer Night's Dream
One of our favorite summer theater traditions in New Jersey is now happening. The Shakespeare Theatre of New Jersey (STNJ) is presenting an exciting, elaborate performance of William Shakespeare's A Midsummer Night's Dream on the Outdoor Stage located at the College of Saint Elizabeth. The theatre's Artistic Director, Bonnie J. Monte directs the show with her signature flair and has also designed the sound, costumes, props and set. Even for those who have seen The Bard's popular comedy will find the production to be totally enchanting. Fantasy, mischief, romance, and comedy are all a part of this theatrical frolic that will appeal to a broad group of audience members. Gather your group, plan a picnic on the grounds, and enjoy. The show will be onstage through July 30th.
A Midsummer Night's Dream is a clever tale that portrays a series of events that surround the marriage of Hippolyta, the former queen of the Amazons, to Theseus, the Duke of Athens. There are four young lovers and a troupe of six amateur actors that are manipulated by the whimsical fairies that live in the forest. And as hijinks takes center stage, there are interesting plot twists that are both humorous and engaging.
The members of the cast of Midsummer Night's Dream are ideal in their roles. The actors deftly assume multiple roles with quick costume changes and effective staging. The company includes Earl Baker, Jr. as Theseus/Oberon; Austin Blunk as Demetrius/Mustardseed/Francis Flute; Bruce Cromer as Egeus/Peter Quince; Jonathan Finnegan as Lysander/Moth/Snout; Ian Hersey as Nick Bottom; Nike Kandri as Helena/Cobweb/Starveling; Vanessa Morosco as Hippolyta/Titania; Felix Mayes as Philostrate/Puck/Choreographer; Courtney McGowan as Hermia/Peaseblossom/Snug.
Audiences will delight at captivating scenes that include Hermia and Lysender stealing away to be married; Helena's pursuit of Demetrius; Puck transforming Nick Bottom into an ass; and the clumsy yet enthusiastic performance of Pyramus and Thisbe by the amateur actors.
The Artistic Staff has done a fabulous job of bringing A Midsummer Night's Dream to life. They include Director/Set Designer/Costume Designer/Sound Designer, Bonnie J. Monte; Scenic Consultant, Steven I. Beckel; Costume Design Associate, Tiffany Lent; Lighting Designer, Burke Wilmore; Production Stage Manager, Jackie Mariani. Ingenious use of recycled materials like CD's, gift cards, keys, wine corks, and more add color and vibrancy to the show's costuming and set design.
Treat yourself during the month of July and see A Midsummer Night's Dream with your friends and family. Your spirits and your imagination will soar with this entertaining production. It will be a memorable part of your summer theatre experiences.
A Midsummer Night's Dream runs approximately 2 hours and 15 minutes with one 15-minute intermission. Performances are Tuesday through Sundays at 8:00 pm with a special twilight performance on Sundays at 4:30 pm. The theatre offers free tickets for people 18 and under. The Shakespeare Theatre of New Jersey's Outdoor Stage is located on the Campus of the College of Saint Elizabeth, 2 Convent Road, Morristown, NJ. The Outdoor Stage is sponsored by Bank of America. Bank of America customers can purchase tickets for the show for only $27 using the promo code BOFA. Theatergoers under 30 can purchase tickets for only $30 with a valid ID. Patrons can purchase tickets by calling the Box Office at 973.408.5600 or online at www.ShakespeareNJ.org.
Photo Credit: Jerry Dalia