The Shakespeare Theatre of New Jersey, Othello

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Director Bonnie J. Monte and the Shakespeare Theatre of New Jersey triumph again with this emotional yet intimate rendition of the Bard’s classic tale of jealousy, rage, and despair. Othello, played with power and nobility by Lindsay Smiling, wins and marries his beloved Desdemona (Victoria Mack). Due to the anger and jealousy of Othello’s ensign, Iago, their happiness is destined to be short lived. Robert Cuccioli is fantastic as the villainous Iago, alternating between fits of anger and displays of sardonic wit. Iago truly loathes the people he manipulates, and yet it is a pleasure to watch him move them about like pieces on a chess board. 

Also caught in Iago’s web are a foolish young nobleman named Roderigo (Matt Bradford Sullivan), whom Iago uses to finance his deceits, and Othello’s lieutenant Cassio (Jon Barker), whom Iago places as fuel on the fire of Othello’s jealousy. Iago causes destruction with true glee but is finally undone by his good wife, Emilia (Jacqueline Antaramian), who nonetheless does not escape his wrath.

The set design for this production was simple yet effective, easily transforming from a Venetian square to the marketplace of Cyprus to Desdemona’s bed chamber as needed. The costumes successfully evoked the period and the lighting added to the growing sense of menace as Iago’s horrible designs begin to bear fruit. This classic is not to be missed and may be the best of the Shakespeare Theatre’s season so far.

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Director Bonnie J. Monte and the Shakespeare Theatre of New Jersey triumph again with this emotional yet intimate rendition of the Bard’s classic tale of jealousy, rage, and despair. Othello, played with power and nobility by Lindsay Smiling, wins and marries his beloved Desdemona (Victoria Mack). Due to the anger and jealousy of Othello’s ensign, Iago, their happiness is destined to be short lived. Robert Cuccioli is fantastic as the villainous Iago, alternating between fits of anger and displays of sardonic wit. Iago truly loathes the people he manipulates, and yet it is a pleasure to watch him move them about like pieces on a chess board.