Features:

 

‘The Merry Wives of Windsor' at Kirby Shakespeare Theatre
By Ted Otten
| NJ.com
To cap their current season and to commemorate the close of Bonnie J. Monte's 25th season as Artistic Director, The Shakespeare Theatre of New Jersey is presenting Shakespeare's "The Merry Wives of Windsor," running through December 27 at their home at the Kirby Shakespeare Thaetre on the campus of Drew University in Madison as its final production.

This Shakespearean comedy, first published in 1602 and written at the request of Queen Elizabeth I because she had so much enjoyed the character of Sir John Falstaff in two previous Shakespearen history plays, "Henry IV, Parts I and II," has been staged twice before there during Monte's tenure. She shied away from directing it until now, and her approach is somewhat different from traditional stagings. She had seen the play several times in productions that she felt were too staid or restrained and did not take advantage of all the possibilities offered by the script. Click here to read more.

Reviews:

 

THE MERRY WIVES OF WINDSOR at STNJ Will Raise Your Spirits
By MARINA KENNEDY
| BroadwayWorld
Welcome The Merry Wives of Windsor to The Shakespeare Theatre of New Jersey. Superbly directed by the theatre's Artistic Director, Bonnie Monte, the production is an ideal choice to close the company's succesful 53rd season. Metropolitan area audiences will delight in the Bard's rollicking comedy about love, marriage, jealousy, and revenge. Gather your group for this theatrical treat, just right for the holiday season. It will be performed on the Madison stage through December 27. Click here to read more.

 

'The Merry Wives of Windsor' is a holiday show for all the family to enjoy
By KAREN NOWOSAD
| Examiner.com
A delightful comedy by William Shakespeare is playing through holiday season at Shakespeare Theatre of New Jersey in Madison. The Theatre's Artistic Director, Bonnie J. Monte, is the director for this production.

High marks go to the cast of this show for outstanding performances. The Shakespearean character Falstaff is a center focus of the show and David Andrew Macdonald plays him with a great attention do detail and later with pathos to the sadness of missed love. Click here to read more.

 

'The Merry Wives of Windsor' at the Shakespeare Theatre
By BOB BROWN
| The Princeton Packet
To cap her 25th season as the Shakespeare Theatre of New Jersey's artistic director, Bonnie Monte has chosen one of the Shakespeare's more rowdy comedies, 'The Merry Wives of Windsor,' on stage at F.M. Kirby Shakespeare Theatre in Madison through December 27.

Ms. Monte, who directs, wrote in production notes that she had long resisted this play. Literary critics often rank it as one of the Bard's weaker offerings. Nevertheless, what it lacks on the page it more than makes up for on the stage. Click here to read more.

 

'The Merry Wives of Windsor' is a special season treat
By THOM MOLYNEAUX
| NorthJersey.com
This season's Christmas present from The Shakespeare Theatre of New Jersey is a bright, shiny, high energy, fast-paced package of Shakespeare's comedy, "The Merry Wives of Windsor." This production is first rate.

Director Bonnie J. Monte has drawn from the top tier of Shakespeare New Jersey veterans to cast this show with the requisite talented actors, clowns, and farceurs. Saluda Camp and Carolyn Kolzowski are deftly entertaining as the title characters. David Andrew Macdonald's Falstaff is a swaggering, macho well-seasoned Christmas ham.

The rest of the large cast gives solid, professional performances in some well-written roles, except for Jon Barker as Dr. Caius. In his work at this theater, Barker keeps setting a hgih bar for himself and with each new play raises it. His performance as Dr. Caius is hilarious, razor sharp and a model of low-key, high-farce. It's becoming clearer and clearer this young actor is the most inventive and flexible member of the talented Shakespeare company. The Grinch stole Christmas; Barker steals the show. Click here to read more.

 

Montclair Times Review: 'The Merry Wives of Windsor'
By GWEN OREL
| Montclair Times
According to legend, "Merry Wives" was commissioned by Queen Elizabeth, who wanted another play with the lovable rogue, Sir John Falstaff, after loving him in "Henry IV." Falstaff is a big, fat, "me and my big mouth" Jackie Gleason type; full of plans that come to nothing. In "Henry IV," parts I and II, Falstaff is an important but secondary character.

In "Merry Wives," he's front and center. There's a merriness about the play that feels right for holidays: there's gentle, folksy scene change music (director Bonnie J. Monte designed the sound), costumes of silk and satin, a set with bright colors, and a fairy masque. Click here to read more.