Now, I've thought about how many plays I referenced, but I've never done a strict character count. So I guessed, counting characters off the top of my head, and came to seventeen. But since then I've gone back and done a real count. I could still be missing some, but by my current tally, it's twenty-three. But some of those are really cheating, and no one but me would know about some of them.
Here's the list:
Plays Referenced: R&J, Shrew, Merchant, Much Ado, M4M, 2 Gents, Macbeth, Caesar, & A&C. And in one of the short stories, I sneak in a reference to 12th Night as well.
Prince Escalus (R&J)
Lord Capulet (R&J)
Lord Montague (R&J)
Lady Montague (R&J)
Friar Lawrence (R&J)
Nurse’s Husband (mentioned in R&J)
Benedick (Much Ado)
Valentine’s Father (mentioned in 2 Gents)
Ferdinand (mentioned in Shrew)
Mentioned, but not Seen:
Lady Capulet (R&J)
Don Pedro (Much Ado)
Don John (Much Ado)
Bellario (mentioned in Merchant)
Valentine (2 Gents/R&J)
Escalus, Prince of Vienna (Measure For Measure)
The reference to Valentine and his father is sneaky in the extreme, and really shouldn’t count until the next book, when he truly appears. Lucentio appears only in reference to his father, which is again very sneaky. I made up a name for the Nurse’s Husband, since Shakespeare never gives him one. Same for lady Cap. As you can see, very few of these people appear in the novel under their Shakespearean name.
For the record, I've played nine of these characters onstage.