Wednesday, April 3, 2013

Didn't Romeo and Juliet Kill Themselves Already? Apparently Not.

It was announced this week (on April Fool's Day to be precise) that Shakespeare's ROMEO & JULIET will be returning to Broadway in the fall with Orlando Bloom (Pirates of the Caribbean  and Condola Rashad (Stick Fly) in the eponymous roles.

I really hoped this was an April Fool's joke. It wasn't.

The new production will open at the Richard Rodgers Theatre in the fall with David Leveaux (Arcadia) directing.

Now, I appreciate Shakespeare's play for what it did for theatre and for its artistic value, but I feel like we have seen it plenty and really don't need another production of it. (Doesn't every high school have one anyway?)

But getting past the fact that the production exists (which I can eventually accept), what really bugs me is that they cast two actors who are almost double the age of the characters! As a college actor, there are plenty of super talented actors around who are totally capable (and much more age appropriate) to play these iconic roles. I feel like I'd be ok with Zac Efron and Selena Gomez as Romeo and Juliet more than this.

Ok. That's a lie. But still...

And moving on from that, there is ANOTHER professional production being done in NYC in the fall starring Elizabeth Olson at Classic Stage Company (an Off-Broadway theatre). I think this production is smarter, as Olson is relatively closer to Juliet's age, but it's still ANOTHER production of ROMEO & JULIET.

So what I leave you with is this. I thought these characters are dead. Is it really necessary to have multiple productions of this same play, in the same city, with completely inappropriate actors? I think not.

P.S. Folger Theatre in DC just announced they'd be doing a production as well. Lovely.

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