Review: TWELFTH NIGHT at The Shakespeare Theatre of New Jersey is Ideal to Celebrate the Season

TWELFTH NIGHT at The Shakespeare Theatre of New Jersey

By: Dec. 14, 2022
Review: TWELFTH NIGHT at The Shakespeare Theatre of New Jersey is Ideal to Celebrate the Season

"Love sought is good, but given unsought better." By Olivia in Twelfth Night

Visit The Shakespeare Theatre of New Jersey (STNJ) in Madison this holiday season to experience a charming, must-see production of William Shakespeare's Twelfth Night. The Bard's spirited, energetic comedy is splendidly directed by Jason King Jones and features an outstanding cast of accomplished actors. We attended a Sunday matinee when the audience gave the show an enthusiastic standing ovation. Get your tickets soon as performances are likely to sell out quickly.

Review: TWELFTH NIGHT at The Shakespeare Theatre of New Jersey is Ideal to Celebrate the Season

Set in Illyria, Twelfth Night is a cleverly constructed tale of romance, adventure, and mistaken identity. Duke Orsino attempts to woo the beautiful and wealthy heiress, Olivia. Yet she refuses his advances as she mourns the death of her brother. Meanwhile, the heroine, Viola has survived a shipwreck and believes that her brother has drowned. Disguising herself as a man, Viola goes to work for Duke Orsino delivering his amorous messages to Olivia. Olivia's household is a busy one that includes her witty servant, Maria; a hard-drinking uncle, Sir Toby Belch; Toby's companion Andrew Aguecheek; and Olivia's dour steward, Malvolio. Unpredictably, Viola falls in love with Duke Orsino while Olivia becomes enamored with Viola. But there are a number of surprises in store when people unexpectedly surface and identities are revealed.

Review: TWELFTH NIGHT at The Shakespeare Theatre of New Jersey is Ideal to Celebrate the Season

We highly commend the cast on their portrayal of the dynamic characters that make Twelfth Night intriguing, beguiling, and humorous. They deliver Shakespeare's verse to perfection. Jon Barker, in his 26th production with STNJ, plays Duke Orsino. Other STNJ alums are Robert Cucccioli as Malvolio; Jeffrey M. Bender as Sir Toby Belch; Patrick Toon as Andrew Aguecheek; and Tarah Flanagan as Maria. Eliana Rowe debuts on the Main Stage in the role of Viola. Billie Wyatt, one of the company's leading ladies, plays Olivia. Other familiar and some new faces in the troupe include Jeffrey Marc Alkins as Sebastian; Jabari Carter as Curio/Officer 1; Dino Curia as Antonio; Jeffrey Dunston as the Sea Captain/Priest; Cedric Lamar as Feste; Ty Lane as Fabian; and Cameron Nalley as Valentine/Officer 2.

Review: TWELFTH NIGHT at The Shakespeare Theatre of New Jersey is Ideal to Celebrate the Season

Audiences will enjoy all of the spirited scenes and original music that complements the show. Memorable moments include Duke Orsino first declaring his affection for Olivia; Sir Toby Belch defending his right to drink and party; Olivia rejecting Duke Orsino's advances; Maria tricking Malvolio with a letter supposedly from Olivia; Viola fending off Olivia's advances; Malvolio appearing in his yellow stockings to court Olivia; and of course, the antics of the fool, Feste.

The Creative Team has done an excellent job of setting the stage for Twelfth Night. The design team includes the creative talents of set design by Brittany Vasta; lighting design by Andrew Hungerford; sound design by Steven Beckel; and costume design by Hugh Hanson. Cedric Lamar composed the original music. The Fight Director is Doug West and the Production Stage Manager is Denise Cardarelli.

Review: TWELFTH NIGHT at The Shakespeare Theatre of New Jersey is Ideal to Celebrate the Season

We congratulate Artistic Director, Bonnie J. Monte for bringing metro area audiences the best in classic theatre. Topping off their 60th Anniversary season with William Shakespeare's Twelfth Night is a true holiday gift.

Twelfth Night will be on The Shakespeare Theatre of New Jersey's Main Stage through January 1, 2023. It runs for 2 hours and 40 minutes with one intermission. The F.M. Kirby Shakespeare Theatre is located at 36 Madison Avenue (at Lancaster Road), Madison, NJ on the Drew University Campus. Patrons can purchase tickets by calling the Box Office at 973-408-5600 or by visiting https://www.shakespearenj.org/.

Single tickets for the show range in price from $39 to $69. The Theatre offers various cost-saving opportunities, including $15 student rush tickets, which are available 30 minutes prior to each performance, with a valid student ID, and a limited number of "Pay What You Can" tickets for every performance on a first-come, first-serve basis. STNJ also has a $30 Under 30 ticket option, which offers $30 tickets for patrons aged 30 and under, with valid ID. Other discounts are available including a 10% discount for Bank of America customers and employees, members of television's THIRTEEN, AAA members, and others.

Photo Credit: Sarah Haley



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