The Shakespeare Conference: SHK 11.0525 Thursday, 16 March 2000.
Date: Thursday, 16 Mar 2000 00:36:35 -0500
Subject: Shakespeare's R&J in DC
Just a short note to say that Joe Calarco's "Shakespeare's R&J" is
closing here in Washington on Sunday. The production, discussed a few
times on this list, operates with the premise that Romeo and Juliet has
been discovered, one night, by four boys in a boarding school. But this
premise is only loosely used in the early staging and mostly abandoned
after the intermission. What you really get is a highly stylized and
inventive production with a minimal cast (four men) and almost no props
(3 boxes, couple of books, and an amazing piece of red cloth). In fact,
aside from providing a humorous and interesting transition into the
story, the boy's school premise served mostly to reflect Verona's
aversion to the love between the two houses as a homophobic reaction to
the idea of two boys playing the love interests. Christopher Borg makes
a compelling Juliet and Jerry Richardson's doubling of Tybalt and the
Nurse is full of great possibilities, but I don't think I was as blow
away as some of the other reports I have read. Nevertheless, it is an
interesting, almost impressionistic, sometimes "movement-theater" like
production of a play that sometimes seems a little worn after my first
reading in ninth grade.
Some of you may know of the half price ticket window in the Old Post
Office, and if they put you in the really cheap seats upstairs, go for
the left side of the theater (row R, odd numbered seats).
By the way, when Romeo argues with the Friar about Death versus
Banishment, I was wondering what the difference was to him. Romeo may
argue that banishment is death, but I was thinking that really death was
banishment. That is to say, if the Prince's sentence had been "Death,"
wouldn't Romeo have banished himself, run away. Or are we to believe,
from his argument, that he would have turned himself in for execution?
or am I thinking too hard. What this play really needs is a kick-ass
ninja Romeo, and yes, I'm a little psyched to see Jet Li as the good