Because I Could Not Stop: An Encounter with Emily Dickinson
Because I Could Not Stop: An Encounter with Emily Dickinson

Because I Could Not Stop: An Encounter with Emily Dickinson NYC Reviews and Tickets

(25 Ratings)
Members say
Disappointing, Ambitious, Slow, Indulgent, Intelligent

About the Show

Through a pairing of her words with the music of renowned composer Amy Beach, Ensemble for the Romantic Century brings audiences on a journey into poet Emily Dickinson’s soul and inner world.

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Show-Score Member Reviews (25)

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168 Reviews | 24 Followers
Entertaining, Great acting, Intelligent

See it if you like Emily Dickenson's poetry and chamber music.

Don't see it if you don't like poetry and Amy Beach's music. Read more

145 Reviews | 29 Followers
Unexpected, Unconventional, Great staging, Refreshing, Musical

See it if You like chamber music, Emily Dickinson, the romance of poetry and classical music

Don't see it if You need a linear plot, classical chamber music and/or poetry bore you

448 Reviews | 182 Followers
Beautiful music/singing, Disappointing, Disjointed production, Ambitious and earnest tribute to a beloved and iconic writer, Dickinson’s work is inspirational—this production is not quite what it could be

See it if a fan of Emily Dickinson's work, invested in 19th-to-mid-20th-century American history, unbothered by subpar storytelling if music delights.

Don't see it if expecting: riveting and historically-accurate performances; more than poetry set to music; a cohesive show: this relies on projections, too. Read more

65 Reviews | 10 Followers
Beautiful music, submerged poetry

See it if You love Emily Dickinson and Amy Beach. But don't expect the lovely music to enhance the poems. They each go their own way as do the videos.

Don't see it if You want either a recital or a poetry reading. Leaves you wanting more Dickinson poetry. You get beautiful music but the two do not mesh.

370 Reviews | 137 Followers
Entertaining, Ambitious, Disappointing, Great music, Indulgent

See it if you love Emily Dickinson's poetry and Amy Beach's music. I was unfamiliar with the latter, but was so pleased to have an introduction.

Don't see it if you have a low tolerance for inflated use of projections and other gimmicks. Read more

564 Reviews | 735 Followers
Indulgent, Slow, Enchanting

See it if you're a fan of Emily Dickinson's poetry. There's no real narrative here. It's mostly her recited poetry accompanied by classical music.

Don't see it if you prefer quick-paced shows with traditional narratives.

601 Reviews | 146 Followers
Beautiful chamber music, Disappointing, Slow

See it if you love chamber music, beautifully sung art songs, talented musicians.

Don't see it if you are looking for a fully realized theatrical production. The evening moves along very slowly and Page as Dickinson does not move me.

127 Reviews | 18 Followers
Indulgent, Slow, Ambitious, Pretentious high art

See it if You like high art and classical musical and singing in French and are a Dickinson fan

Don't see it if you like linear stories, are averse to pretentious presentations and affected performances

Critic Reviews (11)

The New York Times
October 3rd, 2018

“Page’s Emily may be the most flamboyantly unhappy version to date...The context for this characterization is both copious and inadequate...Like most offerings from the Ensemble for the Romantic Century, this one is multidisciplinary, blending words with music and elaborate visuals...Here the various elements seldom reflect on one another in mutually illuminating ways...The haunting sense of mortality and eternity in Dickinson’s work often takes a back seat here."
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New Yorker
October 1st, 2018

"The Ensemble for the Romantic Century has made the inspired choice of pairing a staging of Dickinson’s poems and letters, read by Angelica Page, with a chamber-music performance...Directed by Donald T. Sanders, the production includes some unnecessary elements that often undermine the urgency of the music and the verse...But Page is a superb interpreter of Dickinson, lending a fresh depth and spirit to even the most familiar poems."
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October 1st, 2018

“Essentially a solo show, with Page delivering Dickinson's words to us in the nonmusical portions. She does so in a manner that seemed excessively affected in the first half...Like she hadn't yet fully learned the part...One will still come away...feeling both awed by the musical and literary beauties on display but also a little hungry for a more substantial experience. There's not a whole lot here one couldn't learn by simply reading Dickinson's poetry and listening to Beach's music.”
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Talkin' Broadway
September 28th, 2018

"Altogether lovely, thanks to Angelica Page's assured performance as Dickinson, soprano Kristina Bachrach's crystalline singing, and beautiful renditions by a five-piece chamber group...An enchantingly artistic endeavor, carefully constructed by writer James Melo, and beautifully performed under Donald T. Sanders' perceptive direction. If it does not offer a complete portrait of the cryptic poet, it certainly makes for a congenial visit to her most private world."
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September 28th, 2018

"Stranger still is the choice of Angelica Page to play Dickinson who looks rather too healthy to be the famously thin and sallow-faced writer known from the one famous photograph. She makes Dickinson sarcastic, arrogant, cynical, self-important, and haughty which goes against the voice of the woman in the poems. At times she has been given arty stage directions like posing by a mantelpiece or sleeping on the ground next to what we assume is her father's grave."
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Theater Pizzazz
October 1st, 2018

"It brilliantly explains how all of her poems were eventually published, many posthumously...Musical selections compliment the action that is both contemplative and reverent...Director Donald T. Sanders finds depth in the imagery, bringing even more dimension to the outstanding and memorable performance of Angelica Page."
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New York Theater
September 28th, 2018

"Self-consciously tasteful and inadvertently tacky...One is more likely to appreciate any production by ERC by expecting a chamber music concert, rather than a full-fledged work of theater...The problem is the projections during the music – anything, it seems, they can think of goes up there on the screen, as if the creative team was anxious that the audience would get bored just listening to the music."
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September 27th, 2018

"Dully undramatic but musically interesting…'Because I Could Not Stop' is essentially a concert of Beach's art music interrupted by Dickinson both reciting selected poems and ruminating on her personal reminiscences…Page, who bears not the slightest resemblance to the poet, struggles to portray Dickinson as an ethereal creature, with now and then a twinkle of humor. However, burdened by a pseudo-British accent and the production's artsy ambitions, she rarely succeeds."
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