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Reviews:

A Cynical View of Careless Generosity
By Anita Gates
The New York Times
Enter the F. M. Kirby Shakespeare Theater just before a performance of ”Timon of Athens,” and you are faced with something like a Dickensian store window at Christmastime. Downstage, you find actors dressed in shabby period elegance, transformed into mechanical toys, clicking in and out of the limited movements and poses that their 19th-century works allow them. Read more.

 

'Timon of Athens' review: Classic story of a man financially shipwrecked resonates in Madison
By Peter Filichia
The Star-Ledger
Brian B. Crowe, the state’s most imaginative director, doesn’t represent ancient Greece here with pillars and togas. Instead, he’s made his ensemble into mechanical figures in a music box. They move their hands and bodies a couple of inches, then click back into place and repeat the same gestures — for minutes at a time. Their faces are expressionless. If any one of them is thinking, “For this, I spent four years at drama school?” a theatergoer won’t be able to tell. Read more.

 

'Timon of Athens' worthwhile investment at NJ Shakespeare Theatren
By C.W. Walker
The Daily Record
For centuries, “Timon of Athens’’ has been considered a clunker among William Shakespeare’s greatest hits, one of the so-called “problem” plays.

Never heard of it? Probably neither did Elizabethan audiences. There’s no record of it being performed during Shakespeare’s time, and scholars believe that what we have is little more than a first draft. You’re not likely to encounter it in high school English and until recently, directors avoided it like the plague.

With the recent debt crisis, however, “Timon of Athens’’ has suddenly become worthy of interest. “Timon’’ is about debt — lots of it — and it’s one of only two of Shakespeare’s plays that focuses exclusively on money (The other is “The Merchant of Venice’’). Read more.

 

A CurtainUp New Jersey Review: Timon of Athens
By Simon Saltzman
curtainup.com
When it comes to Shakespeare you can almost bet that one of his least admired and most obscure plays will suddenly have a short vogue and pop up more times in one season than you would expect, or perhaps hope. Nonetheless, The Shakespeare Theater of New Jersey is presenting a ninety minute version of Timon of Athens only four months after the brand new Public Theater Shakespeare LAB Public Theater produced the two and one half hour version with Richard Thomas in the title role. Cutting one hour was reason enough to make me curious, if not especially anxious for the STNJ production. Read more.

 

REVIEW: 'Timon of Athens' is one of the most exciting productions in a generation
By Stuart Duncan
NEWJERSEYNEWSROOM.COM
By any scholarly standards, William Shakespeare’s “Timon of Athens” qualifies as a “messy play”. First, of course, in the plot, hesitant and contradictory, based, it would seem on real life misanthrope of the late fifth century B.C. The work begins by showing the joyous life of the title character and his hospitable extravagances, then turns abruptly to his pecuniary embarrassment and the discovery that his professed friends will not help him. By the end of the play, Timon has fled into the woods, and eventually death. Read more.

 

REVIEW: 'Timon of Athens' @ THE SHAKESPEARE THEATRE OF NEW JERSEY
By Ruth Ross
NJ Arts Maven
While there is no record of Timon of Athens' ever having been produced during Shakespeare's lifetime (it is never, if ever, read in college classes, let alone by high school students), I'll bet that if the Globe Theatre had mounted the splendid, inspired, streamlined production now onstage at the Shakespeare Theatre of New Jersey, the play would have been nominated for a Lizzie Award as the Best Play of 1600! (I have guessed at the date it was written because most scholars place it just before the Bard wrote the late romances.) Read more.

 

'New' Shakespeare Play Seeks Out Those Who Don't Like The Bard
By Stefanie Sears
Patch.com
Don't care for Shakespeare? An updated production of a rarely-seen play could change your point of view.

After a thirty-year hiatus, The Shakespeare Theatre of New Jersey is presenting Timon of Athens, a show that promises to not be your traditional Shakespeare production by working in the combined theatrical styles of vaudeville, Grand Guignol, and Brecht to help tell the story. Read more.

 

Corruption, Greed, Evil Bankers, Swindlers, Underwater Mortgages, Unpaid Debts and a Devastating Recession: Does This Sound Familiar?
By Bruce Chadwick
History News Network
In the opening scene of Timon Athens, set in the late nineteenth century, a wildly-dressed prostitute with flaming red hair piled high on top of her head, at a carnival with a dazzling string of bring lights over her, curtsies towards the audience.  “Athens: greed and corruption,” she wails and the play begins. Read more.

 

Misanthropy in Madison
By Andrew Silow-Carroll
njjewishnews.com
There is a midrash in the Talmud (Gittin 56a) about two men, Kamtza and Bar-Kamtza, whose similar names set in motion a series of epically tragic events. A friend of Kamtza’s accidentally invites Bar-Kamtza to a feast. It turns out Bar-Kamtza is an enemy of the host, who throws him out. Humiliated, Bar-Kamtza vows revenge on his host and the rabbis who refuse to intervene. He informs on his fellow Jews to the Romans, who destroy the Temple in Jerusalem and exile the Jews. Read more.

 

Previews:

'Timon of Athens' preview: A rare revival for one of Shakespeare's least-known plays
By Bruce Chadwick
The History News Network
For Greg Jackson, it’s all in the Timon. “After 13 seasons here at the Shakespeare Theatre,” he says, “I’m finally getting the chance to play a title character: Timon of Athens.”

It’s one of Shakespeare’s least-produced plays. In fact, when “Timon” (pronounced TIE-mun) was on Broadway in 1993, some Tony voters joked that it should be eligible for best play; it was, after all, being mounted on Broadway for the first time — a mere 387 years after Shakespeare wrote it. Read more.

 

Making the Bard relevant and relatable
By Bill Nutt
The Daily Record
Even among Shakespeare aficionados, “Timon of Athens” presents problems.

The play has comic elements, but (spoiler alert!) the title character dies, which normally would characterize it as a tragedy. Many scholars even debate whether Shakespeare was the sole author. It’s arguably one of the least-produced Shakespearean plays. Read more.

 

Shakespeare Theatre presents 'Timon of Athens' on Madison Main Stage
By Liz Keil
Independent Press
This 90-minute version of Shakespeare’s Timon of Athens is adapted by Brian B. Crowe, to tell the story of Timon, the play's title character, and his psychological transition from childlike innocence to bitter despair.

Greg Jackson plays the tragic protagonist, Timon of Athens. Bruce Cromer plays Apemantus, a cynic who mocks Timon for his gullibility. Read more.

 

Timon Who? It's Shakespeare You've Probably Never Seen
By Anthony Stoeckert
The Madison Patch
You might know about “Hamlet,” Macbeth” and “Romeo and Juliet,” but if you really want to brush up on your Shakespeare, you have a chance to see one of the Bard’s least-performed plays.

That’s because the Shakespeare Theatre of New Jersey is presenting “Timon of Athens” at the F.M. Kirby Shakespeare Theatre in Madison for a run starting July 6 and continuing through July 24. Read more.