Saturday, October 1, 2011

Last weekend for Othello at The Shakespeare Theatrwe of NJ

Robert Cuccioli and Lindsay Smiling
This is the final weekend for Othello at the Shakespeare Theatre of New Jersey;
Here is our review; One of the treasures of New Jersey professional theater, Bonnie J. Monte, the Artistic Director of The Shakespeare Theatre of New Jersey, has again provided us with a magnificent night of theater magic.
In her 21st year with the company, she has directed the outstanding production of one of Shakespeare's most honored plays....Othello...Shakespeare's epic1604 tale of power, lust and jealousy. 

Monte has assembled a superb cast of Broadway and Shakespeare Theatre of NJ veterans led by Lindsay Smiling as the noble Moor Othello, General of the Venetian forces; Tony nominee Robert Cuccioli at his sinister, manipulative best as Iago, the Ensign with deadly ambition and jealousy; and Victoria Mack as the beautiful and innocent Desdemona.  To say that Iago, Othello and Desdemona are three of the most famous and challenging roles in the theater may be a gross understatement. The three leads do not disappoint. Lindsay Smiling is a very impressive actor...he displays the requisite stage presence and dignity Othello demands. Prefect is the transition of his all consuming love for Desdemona in the early scenes as she leaps, for example, joyfully into his arms against the wishes of her father, the Venetian Senator Brabantio, (played with gusto by Bill Christ) to the final act where he physically abuses her and treats her with such disgust...and we know the tragic result.

Robert Cuccioli's Iago is pure evil. How he so skillfully poisons Othello's mind and persuades him to kill the one thing he loves is the center point of this masterpiece.  Victoria Mack, as the naive and vulnerable Desdemona, is excellent. The contrast between her small fragile size and the big, powerful Othello makes the impact of the final act even more powerful.

Not to be overlooked are the fine performances of Jon Barker as Othello's Lieutenant Michael Cassio, Matt Bradford Sullivan as Roderigo, and Jacqueline Antaramian as Iago's wife, and Desdemona's loyal attendant Emilia. Also in the cast are; Jay Leibowitz as Lodovico, Susan Maris as Bianca, Patrick Toon as Montano, as well as Jordan Laroya, David Joseph Regelmann, and Eric Rolland

This "most perfect" of Shakespeare's plays is presented in three acts (two intermissions) with the total time reaching more than three hours, long yes, but; it is worth the 2+  hour wait for the fabulous final act.

Director Bonnie J. Monte's production team (also deserving of a standing ovation) includes set designer Bill Clarke, costume designer Paul Canada, lighting designer Steven Rosen, and sound designer Karin Graybash. Kathy Snyder the production stage manager.

Reviewed by Rick Busciglio  September 10, 2011

Performances of Othello continue through October 2 at the Theatre’s Main Stage, the intimate F.M. Kirby Theatre. Tickets for Othello start at $32. Student Rush tickets are available a half-hour before curtain for $10 with a valid student ID.   For tickets, call the box office at 973-408-5600, visit or email  Single ticket prices include a $2 facility fee not subject to discount.

No comments:

Post a Comment