‘Richard III’ Roars into Shakespeare Theatre

9faebb12915ad63c3e36_4a1ea339306f143e0185_stock_image_-_arts_-_v2.jpg
9faebb12915ad63c3e36_4a1ea339306f143e0185_stock_image_-_arts_-_v2.jpg

MADISON, NJ – A taut, compelling production of “Richard III,” that cunning, evil king, will mesmerize you at the Shakespeare Theatre of New Jersey.

Director Paul Mullins has kept the action at full tilt, even as a raft of henchmen and royalty people the stage. Of course you need an actor as Richard who can both charm and antagonize those around him. Derek Wilson fills the bill admirably, with a performance that conveys both his twisted body and mind.
But all the actors are first rate in this dazzling production. Ames Adamson as Lord Hastings soon learns that he is no longer in Richard’s favor, which ultimately results in his beheading.  John Hickok as Duke of Buckingham also discovers Richard’s devious nature.

And Richard is not above killing off the two princes to ensure they won’t inherit the throne. Metin Akcay and Ben Hajek along with alternate James Suggitt are the two youngsters. Their mother, Queen Elizabeth, played by Gretchen Hall is devastated with her many losses, all caused by Richard and his ambition.
Carol Halstead in Queen Margaret, displaying her spite at Richard and, at one point, stabbing herself in her own hand with a hairpin. Ellen Fiske is Duchess of York, mother of Richard, Edward and Clarence. You can sense how silently torn she is by the atrocious chain of events. Even Clarence (John Keabler), Richard’s brother, is not immune to killing him off early on as he awaits his fate in a dungeon. LadyAnne is played by Amaia Arana, who is persuaded by Richard to marry him despite the recent death of her husband Edward, son of the late Henry VI.

It all gets very complicated, but fortunately there’s a family tree to help us understand the connections within  the War of the Roses: the Lancasters and the  Yorks, whose symbols are red and white roses.
The play is done in modern dress, with a simple but striking set designed by  Brittany Vasta. The only ornament is a crystal chandelier in one corner of the stage.  Costumes by Kristin Isola reflect the contemporary theme, with the women in long dresses and the men often in suits or leather jackets. And they’re using guns more often than swords. Rick Sordelet choreographed the adroit fight scenes.
It’s always fascinating in Shakespearean productions to recognize familiar phrases. Right from the start we hear the Richard, Duke of Gloucester say, “Now is the winter of our discontent.”  And towards the end he delivers the powerful, “My kingdom, my kingdom for a horse.”
Considering that “Richard III” is Shakespeare’s second longest play after “Hamlet,” this one ties all the elements together in a production that never lets up. (You’re not likely to doze off.)
Performances continue through Nov. 6 at The Shakespeare theatre of New Jersey, located on the Drew University campus in Madison. For tickets, call 973-408-5600 or visit shakespearenj.org.

Liz Keill reviews professional theatre in the New Jersey area, ranging from the McCarter Theatre in Princeton to Paper Mill Playhouse in Millburn. In addition to writing for Tapinto.net, she does theatre analysis for HometowneTV in Summit. She holds a Bachelor's in Journalism from Penn State and a Master's in Communication from Syracuse University. Liz is a member of the American Theatre Critics Association, which holds seminars at regional theatres across the country as well as in New York City.

The opinions expressed herein are the writer's alone, and do not reflect the opinions of TAPinto.net or anyone who works for TAPinto.net. TAPinto.net is not responsible for the accuracy of any of the information supplied by the writer.

TAP Into Another Town's News:

You May Also Be Interested In

Sign Up for E-News

New Providence

Save the Date for Back to School Enrollment Night at My Gym New Providence

July 16, 2018

Join us at our Back to School Enrollment Night and discover why kids from infants to 10 years old love My Gym!  Parents can explore our immaculate state-of-the-art facility, meet our amazing staff,  learn about our award winning programs, and check out our fantastic Birthday Party packages. 

We are celebrating 35 years of My Gym, so it's the perfect ...

17 Years Running and the Pizza is still Hot!! The Downtown Westfield 5K & Pizza Extravaganza is July 25, 2018

The 17th Annual Downtown Westfield 5K & Pizza Extravaganza, now more often referred to as the ‘Pizza Run’ will be here in no time! Don’t forget to sign up for a night of running, pizza, prizes, and entertainment! The event will be held on July 25, 2018 with a start time of 7 pm. Register online at PracticeHard.com before our Monday July 23, 2018, at 11:59 pm deadline will be ...

Union County’s Free Summer Arts Festival Continues July 18 at Echo Lake Park Featuring 5 Against 1

The Union County Summer Arts Festival concert series continues on Wednesday July 18, with the band 5 Against 1, a Pearl Jam  tribute band, taking the stage at Echo Lake Park in Mountainside.

The free series, presented by the Union County Board of Chosen Freeholders,is held at Echo Lake Park during July and moves to Oak Ridge Park in Clark during August.

5 Against 1, which ...

Severe Thunderstorm, Flash Flood Warnings in Effect for New Providence Tuesday Afternoon

July 3, 2018

NEW PROVIDENCE, NJ — The National Weather Service has issued a severe thunderstorm warning for Union County until 2:30 p.m. and a flash flood warning until 5 p.m.

“Torrential rainfall is occurring with this storm, and may lead to flash flooding,” the service warned. “Do not drive your vehicle through flooded roadways.”

Sign up for our free enews and get ...

Geoffrey the Giraffe Moves In To New Brunswick Children's Hospital

July 12, 2018

NEW BRUNSWICK, NJ - Over a stretch of nearly 70 years, Geoffrey the Giraffe at Toys R Us stores was the symbol of happy times for generations of children, and now he may provide those same feelings for children coming to a hospital.

"From this day forward, Geoffrey stands tall in our lobby to encourage our smallest patients to smile when they enter our facilities," said John ...

Before & After: The Contrasting Color Kitchen Remodel

July 5, 2018

Before and After

Over the years we have designed and remodeled hundreds (if not, thousands) of kitchens.  Every client and kitchen are different, which makes for a very interesting job working as a kitchen designer! But every once in a while, a kitchen comes along that really makes you stop, think, and appreciate the beauty of transformation.  One of the most rewarding experiences is ...

Upcoming Events

Carousel_image_7f6c107703df2d416aa6_barre_intesity

Mon, July 16, 8:00 AM

Providence Health & Fitness, New Providence

Barre Intensity

Health & Wellness

Carousel_image_e7f53aa67b8e7cb310c5_vinyasaclass

Mon, July 16, 9:15 AM

Providence Health and Fitness, New Providence

Aroma Flow Vinyasa

Health & Wellness

Carousel_image_a4801a3d56342db1596a_pilates_reformer

Mon, July 16, 10:00 AM

Providence Health and Fitness, Providence

Pilates Reformer

Health & Wellness

Carousel_image_3c7abbb40c05a3108a26_yoga_stretch

Mon, July 16, 11:00 AM

Providence Health and Fitness, New Providence

Hath Yoga Flow

Health & Wellness

Carousel_image_3c7abbb40c05a3108a26_yoga_stretch

Mon, July 16, 11:00 AM

Providence Health & Fitness, New Providence

Hatha Flow Yoga

Health & Wellness

Carousel_image_e7f53aa67b8e7cb310c5_vinyasaclass

Mon, July 16, 6:30 PM

Providence Health & Fitness, New Providence

Vinyasa Flow Yoga

Avoiding 10% Tax Penalty

Do you want access to money from your retirement accounts but aren't sure of the real costs involved?

Most retirement accounts have a set age requirement you must reach before making penalty-free income distributions, which is usually 59.5 but can sometimes be as early as age 50. If you decide to access your accounts earlier, you could face penalties ranging from 10%-25%, which is not ...

Beneficiary Forms - As Important as Your Will

As you plan for the future, don’t leave out one of the most overlooked must-do’s: naming the beneficiaries of your retirement assets. Updating your beneficiary forms ensures that the legacy you worked so hard to build will be distributed correctly. Don’t delay -- the designations on your beneficiary forms supersede those stated in your Will. 

Try answering the ...