Broadway Play Review: Romeo and Juliet

Since I saw Romeo and Juliet at the Richard Rodgers Theatre, I kept diving into memory, trying to remember if I have actually ever read this famous play. I was most curious to see Condola Rashad as Juliet because she was very convincing as Thelma in The Trip to Bountiful.  She did not disappoint. It was fun watching her hop about the stage. Well, she might not have hopped at all, but there was this energy about her that made it seem like she was. She acts thirteen. And I wonder if David Leveaux, the director, did not interpret Juliet's age too literally. The Victorian period, after all, did consider a girl at that age to be woman enough to marry.

Orlando Bloom was all right in the first act; all right as in A for effort. Of course, I do not know anything about theater, so there's no reason why you ought to mind what I thought of his performance. The good thing about Broadway is that it is live, hence it is likely that he has been performing much better since I last saw him on stage. Nevertheless, he was convincing in the second act, especially after he kills his wife's cousin. He expresses such graveness that is most fitting to the situation. It makes one think about the kind of love Romeo must have felt for Juliet. A sort of love that would not permit him to keep on living in a world which she is no longer part of, and yet, does not prevent him from murdering her cousin and, therefore, hurting her.

The feud between Capulet and Montague is here by depicted as racial. This did not add or subtract from the play because in many senses blood feuds equal racism in foolishness. The stage was beautifully done in a modern minimalistic way, and the wardrobe was a bit hipster-ish for the young men, and a bit boho-ish for Juliet. But I especially enjoyed watching Romeo and Juliet smooch on stage: It made me uncomfortable and shy, which means their act of passion was convincing.

Would I see it again if I could? Yes! which is why I do recommend that you see it if you can. Tickets start at $77.

Happy Wednesday!


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