Features:

 

Shakespeare Theatre of New Jersey stages George Bernard Shaw's 'Devil's Disciple'
By TED OTTEN
| The Trenton Times
The Irish-born playwright George Bernard Shaw once wrote: “Those who cannot change their minds cannot change anything.”

The leading characters of Shaw’s eighth play, “The Devil’s Disciple,” opening officially at F.M. Kirby Shakespeare Theatre in Madison tomorrow night after having played previews since Wednesday, are people who change 
not only their minds but also their outlooks and philosophies of life.

With this production, the season’s second, the Shakespeare Theatre of New Jersey celebrates not only its annual Fourth of July commemoration of the founding of America but the 350th anniversary of New Jersey’s charter. Click here to read more.


Tony nominee Elizabeth A. Davis stars in rare Shaw at the Shakespeare Theatre of New Jersey
By RONNI REICH
| The Star-Ledger
Although he may be best known as one of the finest playwrights across the pond, George Bernard Shaw has also applied his sharp writing to the denizens of Revolutionary America.

"The Devil's Disciple," his only play set in the United States, is set to be the latest uncommon work unearthed at the Shakespeare Theatre of New Jersey. Timed to July 4 and New Jersey's 350th anniversary, the production will be directed by Paul Mullins and will feature Elizabeth A. Davis, a Tony Award nominee for her performance in the musical "Once."

"I've been a Shaw fan since I was in high school," Davis says. "I did 'Pygmalion' and fell in love with his wit and the way that he frames dialogue and characters." Click here to read more.

‘Devil’s Disciple’ staged in Madison
By BILL NUTT
| The Daily Record
With his insightful social commentary and his scathing wit, Irish playwright George Bernard Shaw is considered a revolutionary in the world of theater.

In his 1897 play, “The Devil’s Disciple,” Shaw addressed a revolution of a different kind: the American Revolution.

Set in New Hampshire in 1777, “The Devil’s Disciple” follows the intersecting paths of a rogue named Dick Dudgeon and a minister named Anthony Anderson.

Events force the man of faith to take action, while Dudgeon — the self-proclaimed “disciple of the devil” — is prepared to pay the ultimate price for the cause of freedom. Click here to read more.


Reviews:

That Sly 'Devil': So entertaining you'll wonder why it isn't a summer-festival staple.
By TERRY TEACHOUT
| The Wall Street Journal
It's far from true that nobody does George Bernard Shaw's plays anymore, but surprisingly few of them get done other than sporadically in this country. Take "The Devil's Disciple," which at one time was popular enough to have been turned into a film starring Kirk Douglas, Burt Lancaster and Laurence Olivier. The Irish Repertory Theatre gave it a splendid miniature staging in 2007, but otherwise it hasn't received a high-profile production in the New York area since Circle in the Square's 1988 Broadway version. Now the Shakespeare Theatre of New Jersey, one of the top classical companies on the East Coast, has mounted a revival so entertaining that you'll go home asking yourself why "The Devil's Disciple" isn't a summer-festival staple. Click here to read more.

Tony nominee Elizabeth A. Davis stars in rare Shaw at the Shakespeare Theatre of New Jersey
By RONNI REICH
| The Star-Ledger
At a time when identities can sometimes be polarizing -- particularly in terms of political and religious affiliations -- it might be wise to pay attention to a heretic from a few hundred years ago.

In George Bernard Shaw's "The Devil's Disciple" -- currently onstage at the Shakespeare Theatre of New Jersey in Madison -- the title character embodies the power of making decisions based on personal integrity and individual thought rather than relying on prevalent views.

A melodrama set in New Hampshire at America's birth, the production suited its Fourth of July weekend opening and was also planned to commemorate New Jersey's 350th anniversary. Yet its resonance goes beyond particular dates. Click here to read more.

Revolutionary Spirit Shines Through in ‘Devil’s Disciple’
By LIZ KEILL
| The Alternative Press
 The Shakespeare Theatre of New Jersey has made a sterling choice in this George Bernard Shaw tale of the Revolutionary War and its impact on a small town in New Hampshire.

“The Devil’s Disciple” is more  than a case of mistaken identity, as one man is willing to sacrifice his life for another, while the other man’s wife is torn between the ‘goodness’ of her husband and the ‘rogue’ outsider who represents courage.

The production, directed by Paul Mullins, instills lessons in history and human character while making the most of Shaw’s humor and sly take on the pomposity of the British soldiers and the absurd antics of the Americans rebelling against King George III. Click here to read more.


A CurtainUp New Jersey Review: The Devil's Disciple
By SIMON SALTZMAN
| CurtainUp
What better way was there to top off the festivities that went with the celebration of the 4th of July than by going the Shakespeare Theatre of New Jersey to see a wonderfully robust production of the only play that George Bernard Shaw set in America. You should not only consider it your patriotic duty to see this very funny Victorian melodrama, but also to appreciate how prescient and topical is Shaw's warning about how puritanical values bring misery. 

The self-described "upstart son of a downstart," Shaw has also been labeled (as he has himself once said of Oscar Wilde) "the world's most thorough playwright." To be sure, the "upstart," delighted himself by toying with every social, political, moral and ethical rebellion from here to Methuselah and back. In his most rebellious mood with The Devil's Disciple , he cleverly probed into the ceremoniously veiled presumptions about Godliness and deviltry. Click here to read more.


The Devil's Disciple Intrigues and Amuses in All Its Colors
By BOB RENDELL
| Talkin' Broadway
Melodrama, adventure, romance and comic wit await you at the Shakespeare Theatre of New Jersey's robust and delightful production of George Bernard Shaw's not very often performed The Devil's Disciple.

Puritanism, religious hypocrisy and war are the principal targets of Shaw's wrath.

It is Shaw's only play that is set in America. The setting is the village of Westerbridge, New Hampshire, in late September, 1777, and the British military is spreading terror in an effort to suppress the spirit of the revolting colonists. There is a heavy and plot-heavy set-up involving the cruel and judgmental, puritanical Mrs. Dudgeon, the death and reading of the will of her husband, and her cruelty toward her husband's illegitimate child. Click here to read more.


BWW Reviews: THE DEVIL'S DISCIPLE Reveals George Bernard Shaw's Sense of Excitement
By PATRICK KENNEDY
| Broadway World
As a playwright, George Bernard Shaw is associated mostly with his dapper and fastidiously-observed social comedies. Present-day audiences know Shaw best from Pygmalion, or from one of the many adaptations of this work--an endearing character study to be sure, but an endearing character study named after a Greek myth and centered on a self-absorbed language professor named Henry Higgins. Intellectual, conscientious, needlessly yet loveably fussy: for many, that's the "Shavian" style. On the face of it, has there ever been a writer less likely to pen a piece of science fiction, or a murder mystery, or a Revolutionary War melodrama? Click here to read more.


The first and funniest American comedy
By THOM MOLYNEAUX
| Pascack Valley Community Life
With perfect timing, Shakespeare Theatre of New Jersey picked the July Fourth weekend to open its rock solid production of George Bernard Shaw’s witty take on our American revolution, "The Devil’s Disciple."

Shaw proudly proclaimed the play a melodrama, labeled it that on the title page. He laughed at critics who praised it as "original" since he deliberately used almost every hackneyed melodramatic cliché plot point and character stereotype in vogue at the time. They were also the very clichés he railed against as a magazine theater critic. As a playwright, he turned dull melodrama topsy-turvy into brilliant comedy. In fact, even though it’s written by an Irish playwright, in 1897, I propose we label "The Devil’s Disciple" the first and funniest modern American comedy. Click here to read more.


Review: STNJ's 'The Devil's Disciple' is superior theater
By RICK BUSCIGLIO
| Examiner.com
Perfect for the July Fourth, Independence Day period,The Shakespeare Theatre of New Jersey is presenting a gem of a play George Bernard Shaw’s rarely produced Revolutionary War drama "The Devil’s Disciple." Shaw wrote the play in 1897 and it was his first financial success. The play, set in 1777 Colonial America (New Hampshire), tells the story of Richard Dudgeon, a local outcast and self-proclaimed "Devil's disciple" who flaunts his vice-driven beliefs to his puritanical family led by his dour mother, but yet is also a man of honor who finds himself headed for the hangman's noose courtesy of the British Army when he becomes entangled with the local minister Anthony Anderson and the minister's beautiful wife, Judith. An alternate title of "The Devil’s Disciple; A Melodrama" might have been "A Question of Honor." Click here to read more.