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Inspecting Romeo & Juliet

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Heart%20on%20Fire_200Raymond Chandler does Romeo and Juliet. Not quite, but there is a lively sense of street to this Onomatopoeia Production at the Gene Frankel Theater, directed by Thomas R. Gordon. From Tybalt as played by a redheaded, switchblade rat catcher, (Paige Kresge) to Mercutio’s (Sean Fitzharris) constant  stream of phallic jokes, this small company brings something fresh to the Montagu/Capulet clan. Though performers went up on their lines a bit in the beginning, when Juliet (Kate Gunther), appears, magic hits the stage. She is lithe, with a blonde short do that gives her a perky sultriness mixed with the real yearnings of a teen. This all shifts when she meets  swarthy Romeo (Matt Bloch) and her hormones grow up in front of us. Her nurse (Lauriel Friedman), though a young actress, gives a salty performance as she lives vicariously through her young ward.  This is a couple who look forward to a marriage, but you know they’re really thinking of sex.

We are asked before the start of the play which direction we‘d like to see different characters play, i.e., should Romeo be aggressive or really peace-loving. The audience voted for aggressive and indeed, his attempts at making peace with his enemy seemed untrue…as if he really didn’t want to, no matter that he was in love. That’s what I realized about the play for the first time… it didn’t’ really seem to be a play about romantic love anymore, but a play about the lack of love. Sure, the famous couple are stung by a hyped up cupid … but who knows how long it would have lasted if they had been allowed to live happily ever after? Today, I saw the story much more in terms of   the families who thrive on resentments and rage. Old wounds become new wounds. How so like our entire planet today…from macro to micro. The energy of hate fuels so many of the lives and gives purpose as it does to Shakespeare’s characters.  What kind of sacrifice will it take to stop our global feuds?

All the players   of this Verona do a good job and will get better when they are more relaxed with the text.  In keeping with the Chandler-type mood, jazzy musical l interlude work very well as does Brian Henderson’s lighting.



Written by nancykoan

November 15, 2014 at 4:28 am

Posted in Uncategorized

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One Response

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  1. Kate Gunther’s Mom LOVES this review!

    Kristine Gunther

    November 16, 2014 at 5:42 pm

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