A Woman Whose Passion Made Her Dangerous
By MICHAEL SOMMERS | The New York Times
Lovers of Victorian literature who treasure George Eliot and her writing will find the novelist depicted with dignity and ample biographical detail in Cathy Tempelsman’s “A Most Dangerous Woman.”
It certainly helps to be familiar with Eliot’s works, like “The Mill on the Floss” and “Middlemarch,” because characters from her novels crop up with some frequency during the story, but that knowledge is not essential to appreciating the portrait of a valiant artist that Ms. Tempelsman delivers.
Even people who don’t know George Eliot from George Sand — or George Meredith, for that matter — are likely to be intrigued by the struggles that Ms. Tempelsman relates in her study of a celebrated English novelist whose rugged prose and unconventional private life scandalized the hypocritical society of her day. Click here to read more.
'A Most Dangerous Woman' at the Shakespeare Theatre of New Jersey explores the life and times of George Eliot
By RONNI REICH | The Star-Ledger
Long before talk of "having it all" became commonplace, Mary Anne Evans found a way to circumvent a traditional Victorian woman’s path in pursuit of love and fulfilling work — though it was not without painful consequences.
Whether it came out of necessity, bravery or a surrender to her impulses — or some combination of these things — Evans’ journey to become the author George Eliot is a remarkable story. The saga comes to life at the Shakespeare Theatre of New Jersey in a world premiere production of Cathy Tempelsman’s "A Most Dangerous Woman." Richard Maltby Jr. directs an elegant production anchored by Aedin Moloney in her company debut as the title character. Click here to read more.
Shakespeare Theatre Explores Life of George Eliot
By LIZ KEILL | The Alternative Press
Long gone, and partially forgotten no doubt by many, George Eliot was a challenging, disturbing author in her day.
Cathy Tempelsman’s play, “A Most Dangerous Woman,” explore the tempestuous life and long-time love affair of Eliot (born Mary Ann Evans) with George Henry Lewes. The rigid attitudes towards propriety and ‘keeping women in their place’ were certainly evident in the 1850s.
This play deals with attitudes, covert emotions and truth in a way that was practically unheard of at the time. But the author of “Silas Marner,” “The Mill on the Floss,” “Middlemarch” and “Adam Bede” is seen as a passionate, willful woman with a brilliant mind. She defied society and carried out her affair with Lewes despite public condemnation. Click here to read more.
'A Most Dangerous Woman': A world premiere about George Eliot, courtesy of the Shakespeare Theatre of New Jersey
By BOB BROWN | The Princeton Packet
Although The Shakespeare Theatre of New Jersey is dedicated to presenting classics, especially those related to the Bard, its latest production is a world premier of an intriguing new play. Cathy Tempelsman’s A Most Dangerous Woman, on stage in Madison through Oct.12, is based on the life of Marian Evans — better known as George Eliot.
In this production, directed by Tony Award-winner Richard Maltby Jr., Evans’ life is followed from the time she strikes out on her own. To establish her character and create a lighthearted tone, the play opens with a humorous scene. Evans (brilliantly portrayed by Aedin Moloney) is consulting a phrenologist about her nature. She has impulses that she deems improper, and wonders where they come from. Click here to read more.
A CurtainUp New Jersey Review: A Most Dangerous Woman
By SIMON SALTZMAN | CurtainUp
"That's right," I had to remind myself as I looked at the program notes. The play A Most Dangerous Woman by Cathy Tempelsman is about George Eliot and not George Sand. Now that I had that settled, I can see where my mind must have been. These were two women who are celebrated for bringing to the fore the right of a woman to gain recognition and reveal a new perspective in the literary world not generally accepted in the mid 19th century.
The French bi-sexual Sand, whose real name wass Amantine Lucille Aurore Dupin, was inclined to make a more public statement with her fashion preference by wearing trousers and complimentary attire. On the other hand, the English, emphatically heterosexual Eliot, whose real name wass Mary Anne Evans, kept what would considered her masculine sensibility confined to the pages of her novels notably Adam Bede,Silas Marner,The Mill on the Floss, and Middlemarch. Click here to read more.
George Eliot Vividly Portrayed in Shakespeare Theatre World Premiere
By BOB RENDELL | Talkin' Broadway
The laws and attitudes which discriminated against women in Victorian England in the 1850s were idiotic and reprehensible. Thus, in titling her biographical play A Most Dangerous Woman, Cathy Tempelsman is clearly skewering those who would have so described the renowned novelist George Eliot (nee Mary Anne Evans) back then.
We first see Mary Anne as she is being examined by the influential Dr. George Combe, a phrenologist who wants to make a cast of her brain. Rather insultingly, Combe tells her that she has a "male sized" brain. Mary Ann becomes disturbed and leaves before Combe can proceed. (Actually, Eliot was a devotee of phrenology, and had her head cast by another prominent phrenologist.) Click here to read more.
Versatile cast brings story of author George Eliot to life at Shakespeare Theatre
By C.W. WALKER | The Daily Record
Ironies abound in “A Most Dangerous Woman,” Cathy Tempelsman’s biographical play of Victorian author George Eliot, and they begin with the title. Directed by noted director, lyricist and Tony winner Richard Maltby Jr., the play is now enjoying its world premiere onstage at the Shakespeare Theatre of New Jersey located on the campus of Drew University in Madison.
If you’re like me, you’ve probably had no more than a brief encounter with the pseudonymous George Eliot sometime in high school or perhaps, even in college, when one of one of her novels was assigned for an English literature class. You may also have a hazy memory that Eliot exhibited some sort of “scandalous” behavior, but then again, that seems par for the course for any smart woman living in the era of corsets and bustles. Click here to read more.
Dangerous Knowledge at STNJ
By SHERRI RASE | QOnStage
A little knowledge, it is said, is a dangerous thing. And Cathy Tempelsman’s “A Most Dangerous Woman,” about the life and writing of George Eliot, bears this out in abundance. This dazzling play reminds us at every turn that 19th century women of wit and brain had few outlets for their genius. Firebrands were not socially acceptable back then, nor are they, even now, in some cases. This was the case even more so in Victorian England, where the spheres of influence of men and women were very different. This brand new play at Shakespeare Theatre of New Jersey illuminates the life of an author who, according to STNJ Executive Director Bonnie Monte, took up where Shakespeare left off in documenting the lives of men and women. Click here to read more.
WORLD PREMIERE EFFECTIVELY PORTRAYS “A MOST DANGEROUS WOMAN” @ STNJ
By RUTH ROSS | NJ Arts Maven
Lionized as a worthy successor to Shakespeare, this 19th century writer's ruggedly written stories about real people with real feelings and aspirations—first serialized in a monthly magazine and later published as complete books—sold thousands of copies, making her the most popular author you never heard of. Her name is Mary Ann Evans, although she is more commonly known by her pseudonym, George Eliot. That this unconventional and very talented woman had to hide her identity in order to express her ideas and feelings says a great deal about the role and status of females in mid-nineteenth century Great Britain and is the topic of an original play by Cathy Tempelsman, A Most Dangerous Woman, now receiving its world premiere in an impressive production at the Shakespeare Theatre of New Jersey in Madison. Click here to read more.
BWW Reviews: A MOST DANGEROUS WOMAN Finds Human Drama in Complex Literature
By PATRICK KENNEDY | Broadway World
George Eliot is one the monumentally ambitious 19th-century novelists that quite a few 21st-century readers know in passing, though not much beyond that. You might have sampled Adam Bede, The Mill on the Floss, or Silas Marner back in English 101, or you might have plowed through Middlemarch in the course of an elective, a grad seminar, or a long and otherwise boring summer. Normally, that's about it. Yet thanks to a happy coincidence, Eliot (born Mary Ann Evans) and her intricate novels may finally get their due. Just this month, The New Yorker ran an appreciative feature essay on Eliot: her reputation, her personality, and her "magnificently ugly, deliciously hideous" appearance (Henry James's words, not mine). A few days later, Cathy Tempelsman's drama A Most Dangerous Woman opened at The Shakespeare Theatre of New Jersey, offering audiences a two-and-a-half hour survey of Eliot's life and works. Click here to read more.
A Most Dangerous Woman at The F. M. Kirby Shakespeare Theatre
By PATRICK MALEY | Exeunt Magazine
The secret has long since been out: the great 19th century English novelist who wrote under the masculine pen name George Eliot was, in fact, a woman. Marian Evans took on the pseudonym as she entered into the world of fiction writing and well into adulthood as both a cloak and security blanket, allowing her to tread delicately into the literary field while also shielding her from harsh criticisms and personal attacks. Of course the criticism of much of her work was immediately glowing and she has entered the annals of English literary history as a major force, with her name and gender a source of fascinating biographical and psychological research. Click here to read more.
Shakespeare Theatre takes a risk on “A Dangerous Woman”
By JANINE M. TORSIELLO | Morris Beats
You might say it's a risky business that the Shakespeare Theatre of New Jersey is engaging in by inviting “A Dangerous Woman” into the midst of their usual season. Producing the world premiere of this play, according to Artistic Director Bonnie Monte, is extraordinary because they usually focus on the works of “a bunch of dead guys.” But Monte and company made the choice saying, “It is very exciting to do a new play by a woman about a woman who picked up where Shakespeare left off.” Any risk certainly paid off with a most excellent production. The play, written by Cathy Tempelsman and directed by Richard Maltby Jr., is the story of English author Mary Anne Evans, better known to the world by her pen name George Eliot. It is a sometimes funny, but more often serious tale of a very smart and talented woman, living in a time when women were still considered second-class citizens subjugated to the men in their lives – their father, brothers and husband. Click here to read more.
'A Dangerous Woman' at The Shakespeare Theatre of New Jersey is Outstanding Theatre
By RICK BUSCIGLIO | New Jersey Footlights
The Shakespeare Theatre of New Jersey, nationally acclaimed for its productions of the plays of William Shakespeare and other classics, has launched the Fall portion of its 2013 season with a non-classic, the world premiere of A Most Dangerous Woman. Written by Cathy Tempelsman and directed by Tony-Award winner Richard Maltby, Jr., this is an outstanding play about an exceptional woman, George Eliot, starring an exceptional actress, Aedin Moloney (photo above). Ms. Moloney, making her Shakespeare Theatre debut, is absolutely perfect in the role of the famed Victorian author George Eliot (She is not only an actress with extensive stage and film credits, she is the founder and artistic director of The Fallen Angel Theatre Company in New York City with a long association at Irish Rep.). Click here to read more.
A Most Impressive “Dangerous Woman”
By STEPHEN WELLS | Baristanet
It’s always exciting when a distinguished repertory theatre such as Shakespeare Theatre of New Jersey takes a breather from the classics and ventures forth with a new play. It is even more exciting when the result is as stimulating as its current production of Cathy Tempelsman’s “A Most Dangerous Woman.”
In focusing on the personal life and professional challenges of the 19th century novelist who wrote under the cross-gender pseudonym George Eliot, Tempelsman may not have delivered the feminist punch she seems to have been going for, but with the help of a truly memorable performance by Aedin Moloney, she has definitely created a compelling period drama. Click here to read more.
Richard Maltby, Jr. directs 'A Most Dangerous Woman' at the Shakespeare Theatre of NJ
By RONNI REICH | The Star-Ledger
Richard Maltby Jr. has been a part the Broadway scene for years, and is the only director to win two Tony Awards for revues: "Ain’t Misbehavin’ " and "Fosse."
As a lyricist, he’s been a part of high-profile new musicals from "Miss Saigon" to "Baby," as well as Andrew Lloyd Webber’s "Song and Dance" with Bernadette Peters.
So what is he doing at the Shakespeare Theatre of New Jersey, at the helm of a play about English 19th-century novelist George Eliot?
As Maltby explains, a friend of a friend, Cathy Tempelsman, wrote the play, "A Most Dangerous Woman," which begins previews this week in Madison. Click here to read more.
'Shakespeare Theatre of New Jersey stages 'A Most Dangerous Woman'
By BILL NUTT | The Daily Record
Many people know George Eliot as the author of such 19th century classics of British literature as “Silas Marner,” “The Mill on the Floss” and “Middlemarch.”
Some people are also aware that “Eliot” was actually the pen name of a woman named Mary Ann Evans.
But few people realize that Evans herself was as intriguing and as complex as any of her characters, according to playwright Cathy Tempelsman. “She was a fascinating woman,” says Tempelsman. “She was so brave. She made so many difficult choices.” Click here to read more.
Aedin Moloney Stars in Shakespeare Theater of NJ's A MOST DANGEROUS WOMAN
By MARINA KENNEDY | Broadway World
A Most Dangerous Woman, written by Cathy Tempelsman and directed by Tony-Award winner Richard Maltby, Jr. explores the extraordinary life of Mary Ann Evans - better known by her pen name George Eliot. As an outcast, living a socially unconventional life, Mary Ann Evans was forced to write under the assumed name of George Eliot to escape having her work judged by her gender, and to avoid having it judged by virtue of her scandalous life. The show begins performances on September 18th at The Shakespeare Theatre's Main Stage and runs through October 12th. Click here to read more.