Features:

 

'Love's Labour's Lost' opens outdoors at the Shakespeare Theatre of New Jersey
By Ronni Reich | The Star-Ledger

For the summer, a little swath of Morris Township will be transformed into the Kingdom of Navarre on the border of Spain and France, circa 1600.

"Love's Labour's Lost" will take the stage this month as the Shakespeare Theatre of New Jersey's annual production at the amphitheater on the campus of the College of Saint Elizabeth. Click here to read more.

BWW Interviews: Ben Jacoby in LOVE'S LABOUR'S LOST at STNJ
by Marina Kennedy | BroadwayWorld

The Shakespeare Theatre of New Jersey will be performing Love's Labour's Lost by William Shakespeare on the Outdoor Stage from June 17th through July 26th. This comedy performance promises to be a treat for metropolitan area audiences. Located on the grounds of the College of St. Elizabeth, this popular outdoor venue is perfect for families, date night, and evenings out with friends. You can bring a picnic to enjoy before the performance or snack during the show under the stars.

Ben Jacoby plays Berowne in Love's Labour's Lost and he is in his first season with The Shakespeare Theatre. He brings an impressive background to the stage that includes National Tour: the 25th anniversary production of The Phantom of the Opera (Raoul, Original Cast). Regional credits: Sense and Sensibility (Milwaukee Rep); The Glass Menagerie, Romeo and Juliet, Hamlet, and Richard III among others (Utah Shakespeare Festival); South Pacific, and 9 to 5 (Marriott Theatre); The Light in the Piazza (Maine State Music Theatre). TV credit: The Good Wife (CBS). Ben holds an MFA in Acting from the University of California, Irvine. Click here to read more.

Shakespeare Theatre stages ‘Love’s Labour’s Lost’
by Bill Nutt | Daily Record

So these four young guys agree that they need to concentrate on their studies. They decide the best way to do that is to have nothing to do with women for three years.

What could possibly go wrong?

Plenty, at least for the four sober-minded nobles in William Shakespeare’s play “Love’s Labour’s Lost.” No sooner have they made their pact than four delightful young ladies appear, and all those good intentions of studies vanish. Click here to read more.

Reviews:

 

A CurtainUp New Jersey Review: Love's Labour's Lost
by Simon Saltzman | CurtainUp

The question of how do you turn one of the Bard's least admired comedies into a glib, gorgeous-to- look-at, fun-filled delight has been answered by the Shakespeare Theatre of New Jersey. This newly envisioned and impressively streamlined production is being presented nightly (only) out-of-doors in the Greek-styled amphitheater on the campus of the College of Saint Elizabeth.

Most Bardologists seem now to concur that this expose of love and courtship has been slow coming into its own. Brian B. Crowe who directed the comedy for STNJ indoors in 2004 has again re-energized it, speeding us through the contrivances and bittersweet conceits in under two hours. . . sacrificing very little of this semi-serio-comedy's romantic guideposts. Click here to read more.

‘Love’s Labour’s Lost’ is good light entertainment for a summer evening
by Karen Nowosad | Examiner

There is just something very special about seeing a play by Shakespeare outdoors during the summer. It feels a little more casual than an inside theatrical production and it allows an audience to relax more and get into the play. There was definitely a bit of theatrical magic in the air this past Wednesday evening when the Shakespeare Theatre of New Jersey performed “Love’s Labour’s Lost” at their Outdoor Stage on campus of the College of Saint Elizabeth. The play, which is running now through July 26, 2015, is one of the less frequently seen of Shakespeare’s comedies. However, after seeing this production, a theater lover will want to add it to their list of favorites.

“Love’s Labour’s Lost” has a light tone to it with many funny lines of dialog. I don’t know if this cast was just doing some fabulous acting, but it sure appeared like they were genuinely having fun doing this show. Their remarkable performances were enjoyed by an enthusiastic audience. Being outdoors, the stage is much wider than the one indoors at the Kirby Theatre. This allows the action to be a little bigger, broader, and more active. Great use is made of the stairways through the seating area for entrances and exits by the actors. In addition to energizing the action, this technique makes an audience member feel like they are a part of the play. Click here to read more.

Lots of laughs in Shakespeare Theatre of New Jersey’s ‘Love’s Labour’s Lost’
by Jay Lustig | NJ Arts

Is “Love’s Labour’s Lost” the most Monty Pythonesque of Shakespeare’s plays? It certainly seemed that way on Wednesday, when the rarely performed comedy opened at the Shakespeare Theatre of New Jersey’s outdoor stage at the College of St. Elizabeth in Morris Township. It’s full of frenetic wordplay and silly behavior, but requires its actors to deliver their lines with great comic precision, staying calm amid the chaos. The cast assembled by director Brian B. Crowe is up to the task, and the production is just perfect for the kind of dry, not-too-hot summer night we happened to have on Wednesday. It’s especially good for young people being exposed to Shakespeare for the first time, since it has such ample clowning, the plot is simple, and the twists — including misunderstandings resulting from misdelivered letters — are easy to follow.

The play starts with the King of Navarre (Jonathan Raviv) and his lords Berowne (Ben Jacoby), Dumaine (Austin Ku) and Longaville (Aaron McDaniel) making a pact to refrain from the company of women and fast once a week — for three years! — in order to devote themselves to their studies, and become better men. When they actually sit down with their books, though, they fuss and fidget so much it seems like they’d rather be doing just about anything else. You know this pact isn’t going to end well. Click here to read more.

Shakespeare’s ‘Love’s Labours Lost’ makes great outdoor theater in Madison
by Richard Carter | Examiner

Outdoor theater doesn’t get any better than The Shakespeare Theatre of New Jersey’s enormously popular Outdoor Stage production of Shakespeare’s own romantic comedy “Love’s Labours Lost.” Wednesday evening, June 24, a two-thirds-capacity crowd enjoyed opening night of a brilliant, sleek, frolicsome staging by scenic designer Charlie Calvert and directed by Brian B. Crowe. When four university students willingly forswear womankind only to pursue just-as-willingly four suddenly available young ladies, all the witty dialogue, perplexing confusion and the misdelivery of love letters only tends further to compound things.

Though it hasn’t always been this way, nowadays typically the play plays ubiquitously in all sorts of performances and interpretations, even a “cross-gendered version” as presented by nearby Hudson Shakespeare Company. The Shakespeare Theatre’s new production, though hewing to a traditional setting, loses nothing in relevance in this timeless story. Click here to read more.

LOVES LABOURS LOST at STNJ's Outdoor Stage is a Delight for Theatergoers
by Marina Kennedy | Broadway World

Summer is officially here. And one of the treats of the season is the The Shakespeare Theater of New Jersey's (STNJ) Outdoor Stage. This year's production, Love's Labour's Lost by William Shakespeare will delight theatergoers of all ages. Romance and comedy take center stage in this superb production directed by Brian Crowe. The show will be performed through July 26th at the popular open-air venue located on the grounds of the College of Saint Elizabeth in Morris Township. The ancient Greek-style theatre has general seating on the stone and grass tiers. Come early and bring a picnic to enjoy on the lawn before the show.

Love's Labour's Lost tells the story of four noblemen who take a vow to spend three years studying and denying the company of women. Their plan becomes complicated when four witty and wise French beauties arrive in their domain. The story has fantastic twists and turns as love letters between the noblemen and the ladies of France fall into the wrong hands and cause a complicated series of events including mistaken identities. Click here to read more.

Love's Labour's Lost finds success at the Shakespeare Theatre of New Jersey
by Ronni Reich | The Star-Ledger

If Shakespeare knew that audiences today sometimes found his words lofty and overly challenging, he would probably be appalled.

Just listen to these words from "Love's Labour's Lost": "O, never will I trust to ... Taffeta phrases, silken terms precise, Three-piled hyperboles, spruce affectation."

These, says the character Berowne, make a man the picture of "maggot ostentation." Click here to read more.

STNJ’s “Love’s Labour’s Lost” is Alfresco Delight
by Sherri Rase | QonStage

William Shakespeare’s rarely performed “Love’s Labour’s Lost” is Shakespeare Theatre of New Jersey’s (STNJ) offering on the Outdoor Stage at the Greek Theater at the College of St. Elizabeth and it is an absolute delight. Rarely performed due to its multiple leads, it presents a casting dilemma to companies with fewer resources than STNJ’s. Brian Crowe directs this delightful production with spare stage and scenery placing the onus of our pleasure directly on the amazing cast. This ensemble includes company favorites like Jeffrey Bender as Don Armado (yes, like the Spanish Armada!); Clark Scott Carmichael as Boyet who is the attaché to Jesmille Darbouze’s Princess of France, marking her debut with the company; Bruce Cromer as the learned Holofernes, though this one doesn’t lose his head; and Connor Carew as Costard, the comic foil. Other favorites include Susan Maris as Rosaline, who crosses swords with Ben Jacoby’s Berowne, in his debut with the company, and their verbal twangs foretell Jane Austen by some hundreds of years yet to be. In fact, this impression is enhanced by the Empire styling of the costumes and the staging and acting is so brilliant that even those who have never enjoyed Shakespeare now see what all the buzz is about. Click here to read more.

‘Love’s Labour’s Lost’ Lights Up the Sky at Shakespeare Theatre Outdoor Production
by Liz Keill | The Alternative Press

MADISON, NJ – Beautifully staged at the amphitheatre of St. Elizabeth College, “Love’s Labour’s Lost” is a wonder to behold. The Shakespeare Theatre of New Jersey’s annual outdoor production takes place across the way from its home on the Drew University campus. Despite a few raindrops or occasional planes overhead, the actors never miss a beat in bringing William Shakespeare’s hilarious and convoluted comedy to life. Under the direction of Brian Crowe, the cast performs superbly. The plot centers on four young noblemen, who have vowed to abstain from food and stay away from women while pursuing scholarly studies for three years. Of course, temptation comes about when four young French women arrive. There’s much misunderstanding, as love letters fall into the wrong hands.

Susan Maris is Rosaline, the lovely young woman in love with the handsome Berowne, played by Ben Jacoby. Jezmille Darbouze brings a regal note to the Princess of France and seems very much in charge. King Ferdinand (Jonathan Raviv) is smitten with her. Austin Ku as Dumaine is taken with Kristen Kittel as Kathryn, while Longaville (Aaron McDaniel) falls for Maria (Carrie Walsh.) . Bruce Cromer is all-knowing as the school master, Holofernes A number of players will be familiar to NJST audiences. Among them is Jeffrey M. Bender, in his 16th season. He is a hoot as Don Armado, quite full of himself, with his eye on the comely wrench, Jaquenetta, played with glee by Rebecca Gomberg. His love letter to her is one of the turning points of the play. Clark Scott Carmichael in the role of Boyet, another familiar name, is in his 13th production at the Shakespeare Theatre. In Act II, the noblemen disguise themselves as Muscovites and a lively Russian dance ensues. Click here to read more.

Montclair Times Theater Review: 'Love's Labour's Lost'
by Gwen Orel | Montclair Times

"No more pencils, no more books,

"No more teacher's dirty looks."

Some things never change.

School's out, and it feels great. Even if you're not in school anymore, something about summer says "freedom." Click here to read more.

Review of ‘Love’s Labour’s Lost’ by the Shakespeare Theater of New Jersey
by Ken Jaworowski | The New York Times

Go ahead guys, blather on about your brains. Soon enough, your hearts will show you who’s boss. This idea is made wonderfully clear in an exceptional production of “Love’s Labour’s Lost” by the Shakespeare Theater of New Jersey.

In the play, staged outdoors at the amphitheater on the campus of the College of St. Elizabeth in Morris Township, four would-be scholars vow to forsake virtually all diversions — the most prominent being the company of women — for three years as they devote themselves to academics. Click here to read more.

REVIEW: “LOVE’S LABOUR’S LOST” SPARKLES @ STNJ OUTDOOR VENUE
by Ruth Ross | NJ Arts Maven

Exactly 11 years ago today, I reviewed the Shakespeare Theatre of New Jersey's production of Love's Labour's Lost, performed on their main stage. At that time, I praised their efforts, calling the performance " effervescent" and "polished"—adjectives that would apply equally as well to the current production of this, one of the least performed of the Bard's romantic comedies, now raising mayhem and laughter on the outdoor stage at the College of St. Elizabeth in Convent Station (Morris Township).

Director Brian Crowe's decision to bring the action en plein air emphasizes the magical, mystical aspect of this rather goofy love story. Once again, Shakespeare reaches into his bag of theatrical tricks—sparring lovers, bumbling rustics who massacre the English language, misdelivered letters, eaves dropping and great fun at the expense of a pompous pedant—to concoct an absurdly comedic soup, seasoned with a dash of sex and leavened with some nifty verbal calisthenics. Click here to read more.

'Love's Labours Lost' Comedy and romance, perfect for the Shakespeare Theatre’s outdoor stage
by Bob Brown | The Princeton Packet

When was the last time you enjoyed a picnic and a play at the same time? Both can be yours at the amphitheater of the College of Saint Elizabeth in Morristown. Shakespeare himself could not have imagined a more pleasing venue for Love’s Labours Lost, which you can see here under the stars through July 28.

The Shakespeare Theatre of New Jersey, whose main stage is down the road at Drew University, has made a tradition of these open-air performances. Comedies work best here. Actors can let loose and roam freely up and down the tiered area. It’s perfect for this early comedy from Shakespeare’s lyrical period, which is chockfull of stage busyness. Click here to read more.

Lavish and Lively Love's Labour's Lost Adorns Outdoor Stage
by Bob Rendell | Talkin' Broadway

Beautifully set and costumed, and acted and directed with exuberance and joyful enthusiasm, the high concept high jinks of Shakespeare's lightweight Love's Labour's Lost provide a delightful summer night's entertainment for attendees of 2015's Shakespeare Theatre of New Jersey's Outdoor Stage.

The young King Ferdinand of Navarre (in the 16th century, most of Navarre, which was located between France and Spain, was conquered and absorbed by Spain with the balance going to France) cajoles his royal companions, Lords Berowne, Dumaine and Longaville, to join him in pledging to forsake all contact with women and to live monastically for three years in order to devote themselves to hermetic study. The outspoken Berowne is dubious as to the benefit and viability of Ferdinand's proposal, all agree. Click here to read more.

Shakespeare’s Love’s Labour’s Lost, 1598 vs. Match.Com, 2015
by Bruce Chadwick | History News Network

At the start of William Shakespeare’s delightful comedy, Love’s Labour’s Lost, the King of Navarre convinces three of his fellow bachelor friends that they need to get out of town, hide out in the forest, study their scholarly works and, most importantly, swear off women for three years.

That’s right. Three Years.

They do it, too!

Well, they try to do it. Right after they arrive at the King’s forest park enclave, four gorgeous single French women, unannounced, arrive. What to do? The men have to talk to the women, but they do so hiding their faces behind their books in a really hilarious scene. Maybe this is a new meet and greet tactic for Match.Com, the online dating service of contemporary America. Click here to read more.