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Gentler, Sunnier Taming of the Shrew

By Bob Rendell
Talkin Broadway

There is a light, airy feel which reaches into every corner of Shakespeare Theatre of New Jersey's new production of The Taming of the Shrew.

This is not a Shrew with emotional turbulence. The costumes and scenery place us in an Italian village during the 1920s or '30s. Bonnie J. Monte's production plays as an Italianate version of the country village comedies of early French cinema (think Raimu and Fernandel). Read more.




This 'Taming of the Shrew' is anything but tame

By William Westhoven
The Daily Record

On the occasion of her 20th anniversary as artistic director, it was interesting to see what Bonnie J. Monte would do with one of Shakespeare's most dated — and potentially entertaining — comedies. In an interview during rehearsals, Monte noted that she had never seen a "Shrew" directed by a woman and admitted she had "been watching this play from afar for a long time, trying to make up my mind about it."

She nearly succeeds in turning "Shrew" into a romance, but not before squeezing every joke out of this unpolished gem, mixing subtle gestures with broad and physical comedy. Add a deep cast of well-rehearsed actors and you have a show that's too much fun to take the author's archaic mindset too seriously. Read more.




'The Taming of the Shrew' Vaults Off the Page

By Naomi Siegel
The New York Times

Some works for the theater play much better than they read. Reading Shakespeare's "Taming of the Shrew," for instance, can make you squirm. The play's one-sided battle of the sexes, pitting the alpha male Petruchio against the self-possessed but unempowered Katherina, seems brutal on the printed page.

But then there's the season-opening "Shrew" at the Shakespeare Theater of New Jersey, a testament to the power of live theater to illuminate a text. Under the vibrant and psychologically astute direction of Bonnie J. Monte (who is celebrating her 20th anniversary season as artistic director of the Shakespeare Theater), this buoyant comic tale of one man’s quest to "wive it wealthily in Padua" is a revelation. The decision to place this "Shrew" in Italy — with costumes evoking the decades from the 1920s to the 1940s — only adds to its charm. Read more.




'The Taming of the Shrew' is fast-paced, often very funny

By Allen Crossett
Recorder Newspapers

With a staging of "The Taming of the Shrew" that is sure to please, artistic director Bonnie J. Monte has begun her 20th year at the helm of The New Jersey Shakespeare Theatre in Madison. A standing ovation welcomed her prior to the start of the show when she welcomed the audience as she traditionally does on an opening night, and that enthusiastic audience was on its feet again for the curtain calls. Read more.




The Taming of the Shrew

By Simon Saltzman
Curtain Up

The director of a play doesn't usually get a standing ovation before the play begins. But Bonnie J. Monte, the Artistic Director of the Shakespeare Theatre of New Jersey received one as she appeared to welcome the audience to the first production of the 2010-2011 season.

The season is notable as it marks the beginning of Monte's 20th season as Artistic Director of the company and only the second artistic director since it was founded 48 years ago. That her rousing and surprisingly reverential production of Shakespeare's The Taming of the Shrew deserved the standing ovation it earned when it was over, was also a confirmation of the kind of talent and evolving vision she has shown while leading STNJ through some tumultuous economic times. Read more.




'Shrew' not to be missed, this month at Shakespeare in Madison

By Liz Keill
Independent Press

MADISON — "The Taming of the Shrew" couldn’t be a happier choice for The Shakespeare Theatre of New Jersey’s season’s opener.

The audience is obviously enthralled with this smart, coherent production. Director Bonnie Monte has set the play in 1950’s style, but with the original dialogue well intact. Read more.




'Taming Of the Shrew': a shrewd new take in Madison

By Peter Filichia
The Star Ledger

Bonnie J. Monte got not one, but two standing ovations on Saturday night.

The first occurred before the show. The artistic director came to the front of the stage at her Shakespeare Theatre of New Jersey to introduce her production of "The Taming of the Shrew." Before she could speak, audience members jumped up to acknowledge Monte — who is starting her 20th anniversary season at the Madison playhouse. Read more.




Features



'The Taming of the Shrew' stage review: Defending the shrew

By Peter Filichia
The Star Ledger

A woman of few words?

That's the way actress Victoria Mack sees Katherina,the title character in Shakespeare's "The Taming of the Shrew."

Mack has played in a few of the Bard's plays at the Shakespeare Theatre of New Jersey. Now she'll try "Kate" beginning Wednesday at the Madison playhouse. Read more.