Tag Archives: Bonnie Monte

Excellent ‘Red Velvet’ ends run this Sunday

Lindsay Smiling plays Ira Aldridge, an American and later British stage actor and playwright who made his career after 1824 largely on the London and European stages, especially in Shakespearean roles. (Photo credit: Jerry Dalia.)
Lindsay Smiling plays Ira Aldridge, an American and later British stage actor and playwright who made his career after 1824 largely on the London and European stages, especially in Shakespearean roles. (Photo credit: Jerry Dalia.)

This is the last weekend to catch the Shakespeare Theatre of New Jersey’s “Red Velvet,” a fascinating play about American actor Ira Aldridge, the first black man to play Othello on a London stage. Covent Garden, in fact.

Aldridge’s story is not well known and “Red Velvet” combines history and art for an entertaining — but sometimes emotionally painful — theater experience. Painful because of the bigotry and hate that denied him his due as a human being and a gifted actor.

Continue reading Excellent ‘Red Velvet’ ends run this Sunday

London’s first black Othello in ‘Red Velvet’ at NJ Shakespeare Theatre

Red Velvet by Lolita Chakrabarti. The Shakespeare Theatre of New Jersey 2016. Directed by Bonnie J. Monte. Pictured left to right: Lindsay Smiling and Victoria Mack. In background: Shannon Harris and John Little. Photo credit: Jerry Dalia.
Pictured left to right: Lindsay Smiling and Victoria Mack. In background: Shannon Harris and John Little. (Photo credit: Jerry Dalia)

New Jersey Repertory’s new play “Iago,” about a post-World War II love affair amongst three needy London stage actors and their love triangle, tonight is joined by the Shakespeare Theatre of New Jersey’s NJ premiere of “Red Velvet,” set in the mid-1800s about the true-life story of Ira Aldridge, the first  black actor to appear as Othello on the London stage.

This is so cool. When you’ve seen the entire Shakespeare canon multiple times, getting a new look at one of the world’s favorite playwright always is interesting . Continue reading London’s first black Othello in ‘Red Velvet’ at NJ Shakespeare Theatre

Shakespeare Theatre/NJ offers superb, absurd ‘Exit the King’ in August

If you want real-life Theater of the Absurd this summer season, keep following the American Presidential race. If you want to experience  some on a  smaller stage, a play penned by one of the masters of the art of zany, delusional characters in hopeless situations they refuse to accept, check out “Exit the King” by Eugene Ionesco at the Shakespeare Theatre of New Jersey through August 28.

Continue reading Shakespeare Theatre/NJ offers superb, absurd ‘Exit the King’ in August

Durable ‘Royal Family’ opens 53rd season at Shakespeare Theatre

Tony Cavendish (right) puts fitness trainor McDermott (Ryan McCarthy) in a scene from "The Royal Family" at the Shakespeare Theatre of New Jersey, Madison, NJ. (PHOTO: Jerry Dalia)
Tony Cavendish (right) puts  trainer McDermott (Ryan McCarthy) in a scene from “The Royal Family” at the Shakespeare Theatre of New Jersey, Madison, NJ. (PHOTO: Jerry Dalia)

“The Royal Family” is a 1927 play about people who think there’s nothing more noble than make a living in the theater and why they are crazy for doing so. And, to be honest, nearly a century later choosing to go on the stage is still crazy.

The Shakespeare Theatre of New Jersey’s current production of George S. Kauffman and Edna Ferber ’s  play — a not very well disguised comedy about the famous Barrymore acting clan  —continues through June 21 in Madison. If you’ve never seen it, catch this excellently staged, superbly acted version opening the theater’s 53rd season.

Continue reading Durable ‘Royal Family’ opens 53rd season at Shakespeare Theatre