The Shakespeare Theatre of New Jersey, Timon of Athens

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Director Brian B. Crowe and the Shakespeare Theatre of New Jersey have outdone themselves with this brilliantly staged interpretation of the Bard’s lesser known drama, Timon of Athens. As an allegory of greed, corruption, and betrayal, it paints a vivid and tragic picture that is all too relevant for these times.

Scene from Timon of Athens. Photos by Gerry Goodstein.

Scene from Timon of Athens. Photos by Gerry Goodstein.

Timon, a noble Athenian lord, played by the outstanding Greg Jackson, who pours true fire into the role, quickly learns the price of his casual and all encompassing generosity. Surrounded by sycophants and thieves, he beggars himself before he even realizes what has happened. Warned only by his faithful steward Flavius, played by John Seidman, and his cynical friend Apemantus, the very funny Bruce Cromer, he continues on his path to destruction.

When Timon entreats his various acquaintances for help, he learns just what sort of friends his generosity has bought. He renounces all society with bitterness, hoping for the ruin of all who refused to help him.

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While it is true that this play is not often performed, it is probably safe to say that one will never see it performed this way twice. The staging was truly inspired and creative. The actors performed both the welcome to the theater and scene changes as though they had transformed into animatronic mannequins, complete with jerky movements in perfect synchronicity, like some bizarre theme park ride.

Costumes and makeup evoked a turn of the century carnival, adding to the spectacle, which was brilliantly overseen by Jessica Ires Morris as the ringleader and narrator of the piece. The stage design pointed to Timon’s mounting debts and falling hopes.

This production of Timon of Athens stands out as a truly impressive piece of work, both in its ability to remind us of the dangers of greed and social corruption and to truly entertain.

For more information visit http://www.shakespearenj.org/ 

 

Director Brian B. Crowe and the Shakespeare Theatre of New Jersey have outdone themselves with this brilliantly staged interpretation of the Bard’s lesser known drama, Timon of Athens. As an allegory of greed, corruption, and betrayal, it paints a vivid and tragic picture that is all too relevant for these times.