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BWW Review: Shakespeare's CORIOLANUS at STNJ is Extraordinary

William Shakespeare's thrilling political drama, Coriolanus is now on stage at The Shakespeare Theatre of New Jersey (STNJ) through July 24th. The company is presenting a stunning production of The Bard's classic tragedy to metro area audiences. It is an ideal choice this season as it coincides with our country's contentious political climate.

Brian Crowe's excellent direction, exciting staging and the stellar cast make Coriolanus absolutely outstanding. It has not been performed on the STNJ stage for over 30 years. Engage with this epic tale that has adventure, drama and treachery in perfect measure. And the well-conceived, modern touches make this show especially appealing.

Coriolanus is based on the life of legendary Roman leader Caius Marcius Coriolanus. It is numbered as one of the last two tragedies written by Shakespeare along with Antony and Cleopatra. In the play, Rome is faced with threats from the opposing forces of the Volscians and also the poverty and famine of their people. The decorated war-hero, Coriolanus is named as consul. But he struggles with the conflict of his true personality and the public figure that his beloved mother, Volumnia and noble peers have envisioned for him. While the future of the empire hangs in the balance, the story reveals the intense natures of the people engulfed in a power struggle.

STNJ has assembled a cast that breathes full life into Coriolanus. They capture the characters' engaging discourse as well as turbulent protests and daring fight scenes. Leading Coriolanus' extraordinary cast is Greg Derelian as Caius Martius Coriolanus; Jacqueline Antaramian as Volumnia; Bruce Cromer as Menenius Agrippa; John Ahlin as Junius Brutus; Corey Tazmania as Sicinis Velutus; Clark Scott Carmichael as Titus Lartius; Raphael Nash Thompson as Cominius; Michael Schantz as Tullus Aufidius; Bill Christ as the First Senator and Jordan Laroya as Lieutenant/Citizen 3.

Rounding out the cast are the talents of Amaia Arana, Miaojuan Chen, Elizabeth Colwell, Anthony Joseph De Augustine, Matthew Domenico, Aiden Eastwood, Javon Johnson, Evan Joslyn, Mike Magliocca, Georgia Snow Nicholas, Jessica Orelus, Andres F. Roa, Kevin Santana, Aurea Tomeski and Sydney Watt.

The Artistic Staff has brought Coriolanus to life with the finest production features that include set design by Richard Block; lighting design by Andrew Hungerford; costume design by Tristan Raines and sound design by Karin Graybash. The Fight Director is Doug West and the Production Stage Manager is Denise Cardarelli.

Coriolanus is a must-see theatrical event. We applaud The Shakespeare Theatre of New Jersey for gifting area audiences with a spectacular rendition of one of Shakespeare's most intriguing tragedies.

Coriolanus has a running time of approximately 2 hours 30 minutes with one intermission. It will be performed through Sunday, July 24th at The F.M Kirby Shakespeare Theatre, 36 Madison Avenue (at Lancaster Road), Madison, NJ. Ticket prices range from $25 to $75. There is also a 30 under 30 program which offers tickets for $30 for patrons ages 30 and under with valid identification, subject to availability. For tickets, call the Box Office at 973.408.5600 or visit

Photo Credit: Jerry Dalia

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