Once upon a time I went to a show and it was called Romeo Juliet. And it was about Romeo and Juliet, some of the famousest Shakespeare characters. As you can see, because the title is different, it is not just plain old Romeo and Juliet. It is a shorter and funnier version. I think Sean Graney, the director and writer, wanted the actors to get to do stuff that they wanted to do and not just be directed around all the time. He let them choose what the set looked like and what would be easiest to move around in. He put an opera and play together, only he took out the singing, and shortened them both up, and then he added the middle lines by himself, and then he would mix the different lines up, and then, voila, you have a script. I think the actors might change the script every night for different audiences and what they liked and stuff. This show is touching, funny, and makes the audience feel like they are actually in Romeo and Juliet's world.
At the beginning the audience would go into this little door and have tea and make a love token to put on the love wall. I felt like it really was telling you to enjoy yourself and that this would be an awesome play. And the attendants/actors were very nice. It made you know that this is only a play and when they die and have sword fights and kill themselves that is not actually going to happen. But I still felt like this is scary, and I was so involved, but when I got too scared I would remember those nice things that they said to the audience in the tea room.
I thought the scene where Tybalt (Lindsey Gavel) dies is a very cool scene. His name is the prince of cats, but since Tybalt was played by a girl it should be the princess of cats. It is very interesting to see a girl talk in a man's voice and do manly things. It makes you think, this person has good acting skills and she knows how to act like a man. Another of my favorite parts where a woman is playing a man is the part with Paris (Tien Doman) when Paris was jumping up and down and was going to give Juliet's father (Zeke Sulkes) a big hug, but then she's like "No, no. Men shake. Manly shake." It is funny to be a woman and you are pretending to be a boy and since you don't know how men talk to each other in an affectionate way, when she does it she's like, "no...manly shake." Sometimes in Shakespeare's stories women dress up as men to fight, get what they want, or find the perfect match for themselves, and I think that is one of the reasons why they cast Lindsey and Tien as boys. But the boys did not play girls in this play because they already had two women actresses and there are only three women's parts and they took out one of the women's parts.
I liked the romance scene. Some kids might think it was funny or gross. I thought it was both because almost the whole time people were kissing in the background and that is funny but weird. In the front Romeo (Walter Briggs) and Juliet (Lindsey Gavel) are talking about romance and how they are going to get married and stuff like that. I call it the romance scene because it is mostly romance. This is based on the balcony scene. It is the most famous scene from Romeo and Juliet. But in this play, Juliet said most of Romeo's lines, like "soft, what light through yonder window breaks? It is the east and Romeo is the sun." But usually it is "soft, what light through yonder window breaks? It is the east and Juliet is the sun." By doing this, it shows you that a woman can talk romantically to a man and not just the other way around.
I thought the Nurse (Tien Doman) was sweeter than I usually remember in the usual version. This is because she wasn't just the Nurse; she was Friar Nurse because Sean Graney mixed Friar Lawrence with the Nurse. So she gave the special ointment to Juliet and told Juliet's father that she was "D-E-A-D." When I say she is sweeter than I remember, this is a pun. That's why Juliet called her her "honey nurse."
Mercutio (Zeke Sulkes) seems to like Romeo more than he usually does. I am not sure that he like likes Romeo, but he likes him more than he usually does because he says "I love you," and sometimes that means "I want to marry you" and sometimes it means, "You are a good friend to me." He gets a big death scene where Romeo, to stop the pain, has to kill Mercutio, which is not the usual way of doing it in the Shakespeare play. And he gets killed later. Usually he gets killed in the middle of the play, but this play he gets killed right before Romeo and Juliet die. But also Paris dies and he says "A plague to both your houses," which is usually Mercutio's line, and then Mercutio says, "She's stealing my life and she stole my lines too!" which I thought was fuh-larious. I liked having Mercutio around longer because it is usually a big bummer that he dies right in the middle of the show because you still want more of his hilarity and sarcasm.
I thought the death scene was sad but also funny because Mercutio said some funny lines that I talked about in the last paragraph. Romeo says that the poison is quick, but actually it takes him about 5 minutes to actually die. We get to see him talk to Juliet and be like, "I'm already dying and she is waking up. This is not working out well." And then, instead of Juliet just stabbing herself, she says a line from the balcony scene which is "Parting is such sweet sorrow," and then she stabs herself. I think they did that to make it be more sad and scary. She says "parting is such sweet sorrow" which also can mean "dying is such sweet sorrow." Sweet sorrow means bittersweet. If you want to be with the person that's dead, then it can be happy for you. It is a little silly to do that, so I'm never going to do that, because it is really weird. Shakespeare isn't weird, but killing themselves is weird, but not ha ha weird. It is a sad kind of weird.
People that would like this show are people that like Shakespeare, bittersweet things, and people stealing lines. I think this show should be for ages 7 and up. I liked this show because you can be involved in the show by peeling oranges and having tea. It is funny and sad, both in the same play.
Photos: Ryan Bourque