Tuesday, February 11, 2014

A Little History, a Lot of Romance, and a Special Valentine's Day Offer!

When you think of America's history of Shakespearean performance, chances are you don't think of Monmouth County, NJ. The great actors and actresses who tread the boards reciting the Bard seem faraway both in place and time, right? But what if I told you that the tree that the great Shakespearean Genevieve Hamper is leaning against in this image, from a 1921 cover of Theatre Magazine, is in Atlantic Highlands?

As it turns out, many great Shakespeareans (as well as Vaudevillians and film stars) lived and worked on the Jersey Shore. And we are lucky enough to have had Karen L. Schnitzspahn, historian and author of 'Stars of the New Jersey Shore: A Theatrical History', share some of her personal collection of historical memorabilia with us, which is currently on display in a special exhibit in the lobby of Two River Theater. There, you'll see pictures of great actors like Edwin Booth, brother of the infamous assassin John Wilkes Booth and famed tragedian in his own right, who summered with many other artists in Long Branch. Or Maurice Barrymore, of the famous Barrymore clan, who rented a house in Little Silver with his glamorous wife, Georgie Drew. 

Memorabilia of Mary Anderson, 'The Fairy Princess'

Schnitzspahn has a wonderful collection, and it's a fascinating glimpse into a past that connects the history of our area with the history of American theater - you might just see some landmarks you recognize in the pictures from the past!

The exhibit will be in place through February 16th, this coming Sunday, when the run of 'As You Like It' ends. Come to see the show, which is just beautiful, and between the exhibit and the play you'll have an evening (or afternoon) full of a little history, a little celebration, and a whole lot of romance. 

In fact, since this coming Friday happens to be a certain holiday dedicated to a certain emotion that Shakespeare often delights in, you might want to consider a special offer we have, sure to please both Saint Valentine and your significant other. In a delightful Valentine's Day package, you'll get not only tickets to one of the most romantic plays of all time, but also a reception in the Victoria J. Mastrobuono library beforehand, including a special toast and dessert by the fire. And if you were worried that all the flowers would be sold already, we'll even provide you with a rose to give to your date - just click here for more details. 

And from all of us here at Two River Theater, Happy Valentine's Day!