I have been on a quest, since my kids were old enough go to the theater, to make sure they see productions of all 38 plays by Shakespeare before I die (even though this quest probably is taking years off my life).
My son (23) couldn’t decide which performance opening weekend of “Richard III” at the Shakespeare Theatre of New Jersey he wanted to attend — mostly because hanging out with Mom on a Friday or Saturday night was a fate worse than death.
I gave up and took a friend, a Shakespeare lover. Later I told my son the title character was wondrously played by Derek Wilson, who plays Donnie Schenck on AMC’s “Preacher,” one of my son’s favorite shows, and … well, his reax wasn’t pretty. Oh, well.
While the world may be acknowledging the 400th anniversary of Shakespeare’s death (April 23, 1616) this year, closer to home the The Shakespeare Theatre of New Jersey is celebrating its 54th season with seven productions and an exhibition of the Bard’s First Folio.
The Madison-based Shakespeare Festival produces six shows at its indoor space at Drew University and one outside in the College of St. Elizabeth’s (Morristown) Greek Theatre (replica of the Theater of Dionysius in Athens).
In October, a partnership between Drew University and The Shakespeare Theatre has resulted in Drew being chosen as the New Jersey site for the national First Folio Tour. Published in 1623, only 233 known copies exist. and theatergoers can see one of them at Mead Hall, across from the Kirby Theatre. To be announced special events are planned, too.
He is perhaps best known for portraying Tim Canterbury in “The Office,” Dr. John Watson in “Sherlock,” and Bilbo Baggins in Peter Jackson’s “The Hobbit.” .
Now Martin Freeman earlier this week was twice nominated for Emmy awards.
None of this, though, helped with the NY Times review of Freeman in the title role of “Richard III” in London directed by Jamie Lloyd.
Mr. Freeman, who just received Emmy nominations for his performances in“Fargo” and “Sherlock: His Last Vow,” is giving us a Richard who almost disappears before your eyes, even when he’s making orgasmic noises while strangling a victim with a telephone cord. That this is a man to be deeply and truly feared is suggested by all the evidence, except Mr. Freeman’s performance.