Much Ado About Nothing

The Glass Menagerie

That Scoundrel Scapin

King John



A Child's Christmas in Wales

2003 Season

The Shakespeare Theatre of New Jersey Earns Critical Acclaim for 2003 Season

The Star-Ledger raves, "Here's a big hearty thank-you for
The Shakespeare Theatre of New Jersey."

The Princeton Packet names KING JOHN and OTHELLO top choices

Victoria Mack, as Eliza Doolittle in PYGMALION,
called 2003's "Best Surprise" by The Star-Ledger

The Independent Press highlights OTHELLO and KING JOHN
as 2003 shows that "linger in the memory"

Excerpted from The Star-Ledger
"Theatre: The Year in Review"
By Peter Filichia
December 30, 2003

Here's a big hearty thank-you for The Shakespeare Theatre of New Jersey.

The Madison playhouse dominated the Top 10 Attractions of the New Jersey professional theater scene with three entries. Had its ‘A Child's Christmas in Wales’ been a new production -- and not a show produced in previous Decembers -- Bonnie J. Monte's company would have had four shows on the list.

Among his "top 10" picks for 2003, Mr. Filichia named:

Andrew Weems as King John, Ames Adamson (standing) as Pembroke, Eric Hoffman as Salisbury, Edward James Hyland as Philip, King of France, and Austin Colaluca as Arthur in KING JOHN. Photo © Gerry Goodstein.
KING JOHN (Shakespeare Theatre of New Jersey). Director Paul Mullins was given the toughest test of the theater season, but he aced it. Here's one of the Bard's least-produced and most poorly regarded plays, but nobody seems to have told Mullins that. He found that the secret of staging this terribly episodic play about an incompetent and evil monarch was to make sure every scene was a self-contained stunner.

Victoria Mack as Eliza Doolittle in PYGMALION. Photo © Gerry Goodstein.
PYGMALION (Shakespeare Theatre of New Jersey). Who needed "My Fair Lady's" Lerner-and-Loewe score when we had a genuine fair lady in Victoria Mack as Eliza Doolittle? This 23-year-old tackled one of the hardest roles in history -- going from guttersnipe to suffering student to the belle of the ball -- and triumphed. As Henry Higgins, Paul Niebanck was a true male chauvinist Pygmalion. But director Bonnie J. Monte's real achievement was getting memorable performances in the so-called minor roles, from Elizabeth Shepherd as Mrs. Higgins to Peggy Scott as the maid.

James Michael Reilly as Scapin and Robert LuPone as Géronte in THAT SCOUNDREL SCAPIN. Photo © Gerry Goodstein.
THAT SCOUNDREL SCAPIN (Shakespeare Theatre of New Jersey). At the outdoor Greek theater at the College of St. Elizabeth, director Joe Discher turned Moliere's farce into a free-wheeling carnival. Or better -- he made the place into an amusement park with his nine actors careening into each other with the speed and ferocity of dodge-'em cars. It was worth sitting on stone steps for a solid 90 minutes for this roller-coaster ride of a comedy, with James Michael Reilly as the ever-industrious Scapin.

For the complete article, click here.

Excerpted from The Princeton Packet
"The Twelve Days of Christmas: TimeOFF's theater critic takes his annual look at personal favorites"
By Stuart Duncan
December 24, 2003

Stuart Duncan named a dozen shows that he’d most like to see one more time, if it were possible, including:

Paul Mullins as Iago and Raphael Nash Thompson as Othello in OTHELLO. Photo © Gerry Goodstein.
KING JOHN, The Shakespeare Theatre of New Jersey, Madison
Shakespeare's least-popular and seldom-produced work -- shunned by most actors and hated by directors -- was brought into the light by director Paul Mullins and a company that clearly enjoyed delivering largely unfamiliar dialogue with great zest. Clever set design and costuming helped the audience ascertain the villains and heroes. Brilliant swordplay too. More than enough to bring honor to a rarely seen work.

OTHELLO, The Shakespeare Theatre of New Jersey, Madison
Shakespeare's masterpiece done to a beautifully roasted "T." Director Scott Wentworth, teamed with Paul Mullins (as Iago), Raphael Nash Thompson (as Othello) and a stunning Caralyn Kozlowski (as Desdemona), made for an evening that examined every nuance in the familiar tale, simplified it, then allowed us, the audience, to bring our own minds into play. How rare.

For the complete article, click here.

Paul Niebanck as professor Henry Higgins and Victoria Mack as Eliza Doolittle in PYGMALION. Photo © Gerry Goodstein.

Excerpted from The Star-Ledger

"The Year in Review: -- The Arts 2003:
Star-Ledger arts writers look back on the best and worst of the year that was"

By Peter Filichia
December 28, 2003

BEST SURPRISE: Victoria Mack as Eliza Doolittle in PYGMALION at The Shakespeare Theatre of New Jersey.
Mack, all of 23, was cast only after the actress originally tabbed bolted to make a television pilot. Although Eliza is a most difficult role -- she must play a guttersnipe, then a young woman who wants more out of life, then a struggling student, then an accomplished one, and finally a fair lady -- Mack conquered each of Eliza's many journeys.

Excerpted from The Independent Press
“Taking a Look at the Year's Theatre Offerings, from Shakespeare to Sondheim”
By Liz Keill
January 7, 2004

Laila Robins as Constance and Edward James Hyland as Philip, King of France in KING JOHN. Photo © Gerry Goodstein.
Some plays will linger in the memory; some performances will stay alive. Yes, 2003 has been a provocative year on the area's stages. Here, for the record, are plays I'm glad I saw; a few I wish I had seen. Mostly, a look back shows the depth and breadth of New Jersey Theatre.

Among the nine professional productions cited by Ms. Keill as the best of 2003, she noted:

What playwright can top Shakespeare? Scott Wentworth directed a spellbinding production of "Othello" at The Shakespeare Theatre of New Jersey this fall, with a tingling performances by Raphael Nash Thompson as Othello and Paul Mullins as the scheming Iago.

And one of my personal favorites, Laila Robins, was on two New Jersey professional stages this year... Ms. Robbins was a forceful presence in "King John" at The Shakespeare Theatre of New Jersey in Madison. While others may emote, she commands the stage with a compelling stillness. "King John" received a sterling production under Paul Mullins' direction.