After losing Joe Morton (who was to star in Othello) to a scheduling conflict, the New Jersey Shakespeare Festival decided to go with another Bard classic, The Merchant of Venice, featuring a number of veterans of the Great White Way. The production that reached the stage Oct. 24 is now set to close Nov. 19.
Broadway stars Stevie Ray Dallimore (The Beauty Queen of Leenane) as Bassanio, Kate Forbes (the short-lived Kelsey Grammar Macbeth) as Portia, and Nicholas Kepros (The Rehearsal, The Government Inspector and the Ian McKellen/ Tim Curry Amadeus) as Shylock all spouted iambic pentameter at the Madison, NJ stage.
Richard Corley directed the aforementioned as well as the rest of the cast that includes Mark Elliot Wilson, Christian Conn, Michael Esper, Ramon de Ocampo, Gareth Saxe, Veronica Watt, Keldrik Crowder, Jonathan Uffelman, Pearl Theatre veteran Robert Hock, Donnie Mather, Joy Hooper, Conan McCarty, Darren Page, Michael Earle, and Walter E. Cupit.
Designing this Venice were Larry W. Brown with sets, Linda Cho with costumes, and Matthew Adelson with lights. The production also featured music by Nicholas Kitsopoulos.
NJSF's Rock Thy Brain season concludes with Maurice Maeterlinck’s The Blue Bird Nov. 28-Dec. 17. The New Jersey Shakespeare Festival is located at 36 Madison Ave (Route 124) on the campus of Drew University in Madison. For ticket and travel information, call the box office at (973) 408-5600. Visit NJSF online at www.njshakespeare.org