Monday, November 12, 2007

Performance Notes: Romeo and Juliet

Shakespeare in the Park, Delacorte Theater
June 9, 2007
Directed: Michael Greif
Featuring: Lauren Ambrose, Oscar Isaac, Camryn Manheim, Christophe Evan Welch

• Set made up of a one inch pool of water, a circumference of walkway, and a grid-iron bridge that could be separated in the middle (balcony scenes)

• Costume vaguely 1930’s, mostly done in browns and white, with black accents. Juliet always in white except confession scene

• Many instances of choices almost being made, but then not followed through on—friar “some will be punished”, one upping with the statues, Mercutio and Romeo

• Commonality of costuming made distinguishing sides at the beginning almost impossible

• Race mirrored on each side

• Tybalt and Benvolio very hard to distinguish at the beginning

• Capulet- uneven, “hang, beg, starve, DIE IN THE STREETS”, transitions far too quick, though brought interesting things to the role

• For the most part, the actors had absolutely no idea of what they were saying or why—“towards school with heavy looks” at a run, “oh why then oh brawling love” a senseless list of words, Apollo/night speech

• Pilgrim speech had no tension, immediate love, balcony scene no tension—Juliet has to maneuver into the marriage contract

• Nurse’s first speech very good

• Set very good, but no real connection to the work and offered no actual vision

• Where were they? Spain? Possible

• Due to transparency of bridge, nice layering of images (ie, Juliet’s body being carried off as Romeo describes his dream)

• Romeo should never straddle Juliet’s corpse, but death pose lovely

• Accidental moment when the two bird flew…very nice

• Rain held off

• Moment when he sees Juliet totally lost

• Ambrose looked very young, but overcompensated for her very low voice by equating youth with shouting and shaking her head

• Discussion of options after Paris bethrothal lovely—nice control, affection lost for the nurse, double meaning felt with the mother

• Poor vocal skills beyond NOT KNOWING WHAT YOU’RE SAYING

• Throwing of oranges in the beginning? Wtf?

• Most props held under the bridge and used throughout to nice effect

• Clowning with mercutio cute

• Fight choreography generally boring and amateurish

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