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Romeo and Juliet

 

Playing at Richard Rogers Theatre located at 226 West 46th Street.  It runs two hours twenty minutes with one intermission.  The show will close in November 24, 2013.

The play was written by William Shakespeare in 1597.

This is the first time this show has been on Broadway since 1977 (36 years ago).  It played at Circle in the Square and starred Paul Ryan Rudd and Pamela Payton- Wright.  Laurence Olivier and Vivien Leigh played Romeo and Juliet in 1940 at the 51 th Street Theatre.

The play is directed by David Leveaux.  He has been nominated for five Tony Awards. They were “Jumper” (2004), “Nine” (2003), “The Real Thing” (2000), “Anna Christine” (1992) and “A Moon for the Misbegotten” (1984).

Condola Rashad had been nominated for two Tony Awards , The Trip to Bountiful”(2013) and  “Stick Fly” (2012).

Brent Carver won a Tony Award  for “The Kiss of the Spider Women” (1993).  He was nominated for a Tony Award in 1999 for “Parade”.

Jayne Houdyshell was nominated for a Tony Award in 2011 for “Follies”.

Chuck Cooper won a Tony Award for “The Life” (1997).

The new show has a twist. The Montague are white and the Capulet black.

This is the never ending story of two lovers brought together at death.

The play opens with Friar Lawrence (Brent carver) holding a dove.

It seems Romeo Montague (Orlando Bloom) and Juliet Capulet (Condola Rashad) families are feuding.

There is a rumble scene at the beginning of the show.   The Prince of Verona (Geoffrey Owens) says if there is a breach in the peace it will be punishable by death.

Juliet’s father (Chuck Cooper) tells Count Paris (Justin Guarini) he can marry his daughter in two years.  He encourages him to court her.

The Capulet’s are having a party.  Romeo cousin Benvolio (Conrad Kemp) talks him into crashing the party.  They are wearing masks.  However Juliet’s cousin Tybalt (Corey Hawkins) sees them.  Lord Capulet tells him to let it go, not to do anything.  Romeo is looking for one of Juliet’s cousins who he has a crush on but instead sees Juliet and falls in love with her.  Father Lawrence marries them the next day.

Tybalt kills a member of the Montague family, Mercuito (Christain Camargo).  Romeo kills Tybalt.  All hell breaks loose.

I could give you a blow by blow account of the plot. Even if you don’t know the story you must know the ending, if you don’t go see the show.

The words are Shakespeare’s but the clothes are modern.

The set is not fancy.  There is a wall that parts in three ways.  A 16th century painting is on it and is worn out and peeling. Someone has scribble on it. Hooks are in it to climb.  Different props come and go. A dove is just as a sign of peace.  Romeo comes on stage on a motor cycle with helmet.  Fire erupts in different places to signify things are heating up.

 One of the actors has sliding pants and you wonder in the fight scene if they will stay up.

The cast does a superb job.  David Leveaux does a great job directing.  Notable are Brent Carver as the touching, compassionate Friar. His portrayal touch’s your heart.  Chuck Cooper as Juliet’s father is funny, compassionate and humble which he does with grace.

Condola Rashard out does herself again.   She is one talented actress.  Her portrayal of Juliet is wonderful.

Orlando Bloom is good as Romeo but I kept feeling he was not sincere.  Maybe there was a lack of chemistry.  He was good but?????

The only complaint I have is with Shakespeare.  We never know why the families’ are feuding or how two people met one day and fall madly in love and marry the next day? Is this infatuation or young people rebelling against their elders?

After all these years the show is still worth seeing.  As one audience member said it sure better than the Macbeth that was on Broadway recently.  No truer words were said.

 

Review by Rozanna Radakovich

Photos by Annazor.

For a candid interview with the cast, scroll down to the left for recent photos.  Click on recent photos for this and other shows.

 

 

   

 

 

 

      

   

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