Shakespeare Under the Stars at CSE

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This past Tuesday night, my husband and I, along with a couple of our friends, braved the heat and headed over to the outdoor amphitheater at College of St. Elizabeth for our annual night to see Shakespeare under the stars (and the occasional airplane from Morristown Airport). This year’s production, put on by The Shakespeare Theatre of New Jersey, is “William Shakespeare’s Long Lost First Play.” It filled us with laughter, as the outdoor summer productions usually do!

Similar to the 2016 production of The Complete Works of William Shakespeare (abridged) that I blogged about here, there are three male cast members, playing multiple male and female roles from Shakespeare’s plays that were all intermixed and intertwined throughout this comedy. I don’t want to give the plot away, so here is how the Shakespeare Theatre of New Jersey’s Web site describes it:

If you thought The Complete Works of William Shakespeare (abridged) was a wild ride, then this "lost play" will knock your socks off! Rowdy, rollicking, zany and silly, this is a great production to introduce youngsters to Shakespeare in madcap fashion. Enjoy watching Shakespeare get "roasted" in this wacky spoof as you sit under the stars and witness every character the Bard ever wrote go crashing into each other!

It is fine if you don’t know many of Shakespeare’s plots or characters, but it definitely would help if you do. I’m sure I missed several references to lesser-known plays throughout the show. But either way, it kept the audience amused and engaged, including “audience participation seats” specifically in the first three rows. (Don’t sit in these rows if you don’t want to get a little bit wet, but on a hot night, I think it is a nice way to get refreshed!) We definitely enjoyed the clever references to local restaurants and other places interspersed throughout the show! The production was two hours long, including a 15 minute intermission (perfect time to buy a popsicle!). Take your low lawn chair or a blanket, along with bug spray. You can also picnic on the lawn before the show or, as we did, bring your dinner in with you to enjoy as you watch.

The shows are every day except Mondays from now through August 4, 2019. Every Tues-Sun there is a show at 8pm, with an additional show on Sundays at 4:30pm. It was beautiful to watch the sky turn from daylight to darkness as the play moves along. The night we attended had a beautiful almost-full moon rise to the right of the stage. Tickets are $38 for adults, and there is a $10 discount if you are a Bank of America card holder. Kids 18 and under are FREE!!

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For more information, visit The Shakespeare Theatre of New Jersey’s Web site, or call 973-408-5600.