Humor

ENCHANTED APRIL at The Shakespeare Theater of NJ Charms with humor and heart

ENCHANTED APRIL at The Shakespeare Theater of NJ Charms with humor and heart

“For those who appreciate wisteria and sunshine… that’s me.” by Lotte in enchanted april

The Shakespeare Theater of New Jersey (STNJ) has launched its 60th Anniversary Season with a theatrical gem, matthew barber‘s enchanted april. Exquisitely directed by the theater’s artistic director, Bonnie J. Monte, this show is guaranteed to captivate audiences. It is a lively, humorous and moving play.

enchanted april was a hit with the STNJ audience during the company’s “Lend Us Your Ears” game read series in 2018. It was scheduled to open the 2020 season, but was canceled due to the pandemic. Ms. Monte is thrilled to finally bring the play to the company’s main stage. It will be held until June 26.

Review: ENCHANTED APRIL at The Shakespeare Theater of NJ Charms with humor and heart

enchanted april it is set in 1922 in both England and Italy. In the story, Lotte, an outgoing woman, plans to rent an Italian villa, San Salvatore. She believes the chance to get away on vacation will be transformative and a much-needed break for her husband, Mallersh. Lotte manages to convince Rose, a prissy guy she meets at the local ladies’ club, to tag along. The timing also seems right for Rose, who is at odds with her husband, Frederick. To share the expenses, Lotte and Rose must recruit two more women. Enter a prickly older woman, Mrs. Graves, and the beautiful socialite, Caroline Bramble. The four women leave their homes in England to visit the beautiful, but not entirely ideal, villa. The owner, Anthony Wilding, admits there are some maintenance issues and the housekeeper, Costanza, is certainly overwhelmed. This story of women fighting for themselves, coming together and finding balance in their lives is very uplifting, just perfect for our times.

Review: ENCHANTED APRIL at The Shakespeare Theater of NJ Charms with humor and heart

STNJ has assembled a cast of talented actors who bring style and spirit to their distinctive roles and deliver Barber’s well-crafted dialogue with perfect timing. The company is completely adorable. It includes samantha-bruce as Caroline Bramble; gregory jackson as Mellersh Wilton; Monette Magrath as Lotty Wilton; anthony marble as Frederick Arnott; Aaron McDaniel as Anthony Wilding; Elizabeth Shepherd as Mrs. Graves; Carey go dry as Rose Arnott; Y Celeste Cuilla like Constance.

The scenes are unforgettable. Some of the many standout moments include Lotte striking up a conversation with Rose at her club, Rose and Lotte telling Mrs. Graves about the trip, each woman’s arrival at San Salvatore, Anthony welcoming their guests, Mrs. Graves demanding Costanza, Caroline learning of Rose and Frederick’s marriage, and Mellersh’s ill-fated bathroom at San Salvatore.

The Creative Team has done a fabulous job of bringing enchanted april to the Madison stage with scenery by Bonnie J. Monte; costume design by Paul Canada; lighting design by Michael Gianitti; and sound designer for Steven Beckel. The production stage manager is Kelly Merritt.

There are many surprises and life lessons to be gleaned from the personal journeys depicted in Enchanted April. We know our readers will enjoy every minute of the show. Watch it while you can.

The FM Kirby Shakespeare Theater is located in 36 Madison Avenue, Madison, NJ 07940 on the Drew University campus. Users can buy tickets for enchanted april and upcoming STNJ shows by calling the box office at 973-408-5600 or visiting https://www.shakespearenj.org/.

Photo Credit: Daniel Rader