I was hoping to see a great production of Romeo and Juliet and I'm sorry to say I was disappointed. The Cast is great. There's some very good performances here, and both Bloom & Rashad are good, with some great moments. The actor playing Mercurcio and the actress playing the nurse do a great job. All the others are quite good too. The problem is the direction and the staging. I'm sorry but its awful. They sort of made it a modern production in some sort of modern time, but they never really fully go for it so its sort of modern and sort of not. That doesnt work. The sets are lame. The have real fire on the stage quite a few times and its interesting for about 30 seconds. If its supposed to be symbolic of the fire in the story or the romance, that doesnt work either. The motorcycle doent make it modern or work either because Romeo just doesnt make it as a biker type. The stage never seems intimate during the intimate scenes, a bummer for R & J, and more often than not the actors a left on a sprawling sparsely decorated stage, looking lost. That leads to a loss of tension and fire dispite the pyrotechnics. The costumes are as lame as the sets. The direction is terrible, and I think, its surprising coming from a 5 time Tony nominated director. I'm not sure what their concept was supposed to but I think the director, the set designer and costumer were all on vacation phoning it all in to an unprofessional production team. I really love productions with minimal sets and good lighting w / decent costumes and staging that allow the actors to shine. I like when Shakes is done modern and done right. This production doesn't do it. Listless comes to mind. Finally, the fight scenes where Mercurcio and Tybolt are killed was really amatuerish. Also the Capulet party was poorly costumed and choreographed. One last thing, who's bright idea was it to have Juliet wear what looked like pajamas to her wedding to Romeo? Do you honestly think Juliet would've worn that? To marry Romeo? I'm so glad I got a cheap ticket. If you want to see this for Bloom and Rashad, you will probably enjoy their performances for the most part, but if you're going to see a good production of Romeo and Juilet, look elsewhere.
Richard Rodgers Theatre
226 W 46th St, New York, NY 10036Click for map and directions
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