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THE SHAKESPEARE THEATRE OF NJ Will Present “Crazy Love” Live Theatre Performances Outdoors in Florham Park 7/30 through 8/9

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THE SHAKESPEARE THEATRE OF NJ Will Present “Crazy Love” Live Theatre Performances Outdoors in Florham Park 7/30 through 8/9

For the many people who have missed the enjoyment of live theatre, we have some good news from The Shakespeare Theatre of New Jersey (STNJ). The Theatre will present Crazy Love!, an entertaining double-bill of two different evenings of classic comedy comprised of two short, outdoor productions. The performances will take place at the "Back Yard Stage" on the great lawn of the Theatre's Thomas H. Kean Theatre Factory in Florham Park, NJ with performances from Thursday, July 30 through Sunday, August 9. Broadwayworld had the opportunity to chat with Bonnie J. Monte, the theatre's Artistic Director about this exciting entertainment initiative.

The performances will alternate between Verily, Madly Thine, a cornucopia of Shakespeare's wittiest and silliest love scenes, and a mini double-bill featuring Edna St. Vincent Millay's Aria de Capo, a whimsical commedia gem, and a new translation of Molière's hilarious farce, The Love Doctor. Company member AC Horton will direct Verily, Madly Thine, and Bonnie J. Monte, STNJ's Artistic Director, will direct both the Millay and Molière.

The cast of Crazy Love! consists of STNJ's "Shrewd Mechanicals," a company of eight non-Equity actors, all of whom have been isolated together in company housing since the pandemic began. They will perform both of the shows. Bonnie told us that the troupe is an extraordinary group of young artists who are going to give the audience as wonderful performances as the company's main stage performers.

THE SHAKESPEARE THEATRE OF NJ Will Present “Crazy Love” Live Theatre Performances Outdoors in Florham Park 7/30 through 8/9

(Pictured: Christian Frost as Malvolio in the 2019 tour of Verily, Madly Thine,
directed by AC Horton. Photo credit: Joe Guerin)

The grand yard at Florham Park is ideal for the productions. STNJ is taking all precautions to ensure the safety of their patrons. Social distancing will be in place, and masks are required of all audience members, staff, and volunteers. One to five people in a group will be able to be seated within a prescribed eight-foot diameter "pod." Each pod will be six feet apart from the next one to maintain the proper social distance. The stage will be 20 feet away from the closest pods. All guests are advised to bring picnic blankets and low beach chairs. Bonnie pointed out that each performance will have up to 35 pods and there will be great views of the stage area that is slightly elevated.

We wanted to know how the concept for presenting Crazy Love! first began. Bonnie told us that once Governor Murphy approved gatherings of more than 50 people, it became a possibility. "We are in a unique position with a small company of actors that have been in isolation together since the start of the quarantine." Bonnie conceived the notion of Crazy Love! and perused some short pieces for the performance. AC Horton had already been working on the piece, Verily Madly Thine.

We asked Bonnie why Crazy Love! is the right theme this summer during the Covid-19 outbreak. She commented, "People are needing the shot of adrenalin and giddiness that comes with love. They will be able to laugh and cry because of the words of the greatest writers. Crazy Love! will delight audiences."

There has already been a great response from the public for the upcoming shows. We wondered if there was a possibility of more shows in the future. Bonnie said, "Audiences are dying to see live theatre. If it is financially feasible and the audience numbers are up, we will look to do something else this season out of doors."

All tickets for "Crazy Love" are $20, with up to five people in a group to be seated within the eight-foot diameter "pod." Tickets are available only by contacting the Theatre's Box Office at (973) 408-5600 or boxoffice@ShakespeareNJ.org. For more information about the productions, please visit www.ShakespeareNJ.org.

The performance schedule is as follows:

Thursday, July 30 @ 7 p.m. ARIA DA CAPO / THE LOVE DOCTOR

Friday, July 31 @ 7 p.m. ARIA DA CAPO / THE LOVE DOCTOR

Saturday, August 1@ 7 p.m. VERILY, MADLY THINE

Sunday, August 2 @ 4:30 p.m. ARIA DA CAPO / THE LOVE DOCTOR

Sunday, August 2 @ 7 p.m. VERILY, MADLY THINE

Thursday, August 6 @ 7 p.m. VERILY, MADLY THINE

Saturday, August 8 @ 7 p.m. ARIA DA CAPO / THE LOVE DOCTOR

Sunday, August 9 @ 4:30 p.m. VERILY, MADLY THINE

Sunday, August 9 @ 7 p.m. ARIA DA CAPO /

Top photo credit: Jerry Dahlia


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