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 Reviews)
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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Member Reviews (25)

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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.

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.

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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Times Square Chronicles
September 27th, 2018

"Page, though a wonderful actress, is miscast in this role. She neither looks nor acts like one would expect Emily Dickinson. Page is poorly costumed by Vanessa James and not well directed. She poses and acts too arrogant to be the voice of these lyrical poems...Their choice of composer Amy Beach...made the evening clash as it was the wrong tone to Dickenson’s poems and would of been better suited to Sylvia Plath...Altogether this whole production was a misfire."
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Wolf Entertainment Guide
September 28th, 2018

"Unfortunately, the musical aspect of the program far outweighs the verbal part of the excursion into Dickinson’s life. As written by James Melo, the text is sketchy and not very dramatic or poignant. Perhaps it is what she has to work with, but Page’s portrayal comes across as rather vacuous and uninvolving..Fortunately, the music composed by Amy Beach as performed here is sublime and makes that part of the visit enjoyably satisfactory."
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September 29th, 2018

"Tonight’s exceptional string comprised of four, young, nuanced musicians in such emotional sync that the raising of bows is balletic and they seem to breathe as one...Verse is seamlessly woven into monologue as if the poet made no distinction...I wonder at a surfeit of distractions that to me, seem like pandering...Angelica Page is marvelous...Like all efforts by Ensemble for the Romantic Century, this one, despite my caveats, is fascinating and unique."
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