Modern Retellings of Shakespeare's Best Works

Modern Retellings of Shakespeare's Best Works

Posted on April 25, 2017 by Paul Kibala

The Complete Works of Shakespeare (Abridged) will premiere at Playhouse 22 this Friday, offering a brief comedic look at his finest plays, which will be consolidated into a single work.  In reocgnition of the event, we'd like to share the best Shakespeare adaptations available at the East Brunswick Public Library. 

Vinegar Girl by Anne Tyler

Tyler, known for works such as A Spool of Blue Thread and Digging to America, returns with this 2016 novel.  Centering on Kate Battista, who is sick of being her father’s assistant, the story humorously takes her through a series of challenges in this updated version of the Taming of the Shrew. 

Nutshell by Ian McEwan

Featuring betrayal, infidelity, and odd familial relations, McEwan’s concise novel is a brief, modern retelling of Hamlet from a modern perspective.  

Romeo And/Or Juliet by Ryan North

What if Romeo never met Juliet?  What if he lifted weights instead of brooding all day?  What if they tried to take over Verona using robot suits?  These questions factor heavily into North’s lighthearted choose-your-own-path adaptation of the famous tragedy, packed with puzzles and fun tangents.  

A Thousand Acres by Jane Smiley

Smiley uses King Lear as the framework for this story, casting Larry Cook as the aging patriarch with three daughters.  The adaptation gets to the heart of compelling father-daughter dynamics, demonstrating the slow dissolution of family relations. 

West Side Story

Yet another Romeo and Juliet adaptation, this classic musical follows warring gangs of different ethnic backgrounds on the Upper West Side.   


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