I’ll confess, Romeo and Juliet is not my favorite Shakespeare play. I’m much more fond of comedy and a wedding at the end of the day. I do have a soft spot for the play, however, because I find it rather brilliant: the play is a comedy until the death of Mercutio. ”Tis but a scratch!” he cries, and the whole play shifts. It’s a bold move, a sad move, and, I think, genius. I remember the moment my professor revealed this bit of literary brilliance in my Shakespeare course, and I went from being moderately annoyed by Romeo and Juliet to loving it. Though I do still want to smack the titular characters and make them snap out of their infatuation before they destroy themselves over it, I adore the sheer cleverness of the language and the magnificent plot shifts.
So when my mom asked if I’d like to go see it at Actors Theater of Louisville on my birthday, I quite gladly agreed. The production was modernized, as you can see from the set above. A few lines were omitted, a few added, and a monologue or two was rapped, to my great amusement, and it was a wholly unique production in my limited experience. Though the source of tension between Capulets and Montagues in this particular case wasn’t revealed at all, which made the conflict in the play a little inscrutable, it was an entertaining production, witty, slightly bawdy, and genuinely emotional.
And I am ready for a little more Shakespeare at present. Perhaps I’ll rent A Midsummer Night’s Dream (my favorite) and have a good laugh this evening.
So, your turn now–what’s your favorite Shakespeare play? Do you have a favorite production?
Until next Thursday,
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