The lights dim and the crowd slowly hushes. Suddenly, the sound of gunfire erupts in the darkness. Strobe lights flash as the sound of chaos grows and grows, until a chopper is heard incoming. One is expecting Metallica to come onstage and perform their song One. But the lights quickly turn off and the audience is greeted with the cast on the stage in middle eastern attire and punjabi music, while the monologue is spoken. This was the Theatre Production of Romeo and Juliet.
Everyone knows the tale of the star-crossed lovers, but for those who haven’t heard of the practically cliched love story, we will repeat it. Romeo And Juliet are two lovers who both come from rival families. The two wed in secret, but after Romeo is expelled from the kingdom, Juliet decides to fake her death so they can be together forever. Romeo mistakenly believes that Juliet has actually died and kills himself. Juliet finds out and kills herself too. The end.
The play altogether was actually quite impressive.The cast made great use of the only two set pieces that the stage had to offer and the theatre ensemble did a great job making use of the large space with the impressively choreographed fight scenes. The performers did a great job with their roles, Romeo (Sam Wittlinger) and Juliet (Angelean McMahon) were pretty well cast and did seem to share chemistry. And even though the play is a tragedy, it doesn’t shy away from a few laughs. Most of the comic relief comes from the character of Mercutio (Christian Parrish) as he mocks many of the stories other characters.
One of the only strange aspects of the play is the setting. Set in what seems to be the present day Middle East (Romeo is a young man in the U.S. Army while Juliet is a local kings daughter) it still retains its Shakespearean dialect, which is a bit puzzling. But aside from a few flubbed lines here and there, the play is well preformed tragedy.
All in all, Theatre Production’s Romeo and Juliet is a great production by the troupe. Wth great performances, the play was a great way to escape from the world for a good 1 1/2 hours.