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Halloween Shakespeare Benefit Show

Titus Andronicus

For the final offering of their 22nd annual season of touring Shakespeare, the Hudson Shakespeare Company of Jersey City presents the Bard's most bloodiest and goriest play, "Titus Andronicus" directed by Jon Ciccarelli.

Extending their usual summer season of outdoor performances, Hudson Shakespeare jumps into the Halloween season with this tale of mutilations, murder, rape, and bloody revenge all served up into a unique culinary conclusion with body parts baked into pies. Slasher movies and Quentin Tarantino style revenge story meets Shakespeare in this modern retelling of the bard's first tragedy. Parental discretion is advised the event is for ages 13 and up due to subject matter.

The play tells the story of the very proud and duty bound Roman general, Titus Andronicus (Joesph Hoover), returning to Rome after a long, drawn out war with the uncivlized Goths. Capturing their queen Tzmora (Noelle Fair), her lover Aaron (Michael Hagins) and several of her sons, Titus proudly parades his war prizes through the streets and kills one of Tamora's sons as revenge for many of Titus' sons killed during the war.

Titus then presents the surviving tribe to his master, Saturninus (Chris Kent). Saturninus, forever drunk and always looking for a good time, sets the Goths free and marries Tamora. Tamora now sees an opportunity for revenge sets her lover Aaron to devise a devastating plan of revenge against Titus and his family.

Aaron employes Tamora's sons, Chiron (Nicholas Cerkez) and Demtrius (Steven Godoy), to rape and mutilate Titus' daughter Lavinia (Lisa Lagrande), murder her husband and frame her two of Titus sons for the murder. In the aftermath of the crime the once assured Titus is brought to his knees with the vision of his violated daughter, his captured sons, ruined career, and other horrors awaiting him. Through it all and under a mad laughter, he vows and carries out revenge on Tamora and her family. Hands are torn away, a sea of blood is unleashed and interesting meat pies are served up Shakespeare's answer to the slasher movie.

Written sometime between 1589 and 1594, "Titus Andronicus" is Shakespeare's very first tragedy and his first best seller. It was a run away hit when first performed and capitalized on the "revenge tragedy" where a wronged hero seeks retribution usually at a huge cost. From "Hamlet" to modern day mafia sagas, the revenge tragedy has found a home in both literature and pop culture.

The play will be presented at the Historic Jersey City and Harsimus Cemetery, 435 Newark Avenue, Jersey City, NJ on Friday, October 18, Saturday, October 19, and Sunday, October 20th at 7pm. Admission is a suggested donation of $10, seating is provided. The cemetery association will be offering haunted tours immediately after the show for an additional donation which includes the cemetery grounds and its many below ground vaults. No need to venture far to find scares and history and some bloody good Shakespeare with this event in your neighborhood.
visit hudsonshakepseare.homestead.com. For more information call Hudson Shakespeare at 973 449 7443 or the cemetery at 201 653-1360.

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