A modern take on Romeo and Juliet

This year, I’ve watched a number of plays in local community theaters, two of which were by Shakespeare, something I’d been adding in addition to my Artist Dates.  I was very surprised to know there’s a number of local community theaters around.

As I’d mentioned in a post a few weeks ago,

I’ve been to the local plays around here.  I saw the musical  Company, based on a book by George Furth; The Nightmare Room, an intense, thrilling, two-woman play, based on a story by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle; a modern day Romeo and Juliet; Sordid Lives, a comedy about family dysfunction by Del Shores, and Hamlet, a wonderful, emotionally gripping play directed by that new storytelling friend I met a while back.  Turns out my new friend is also a veRy talented actor and a fantastic director in local theater.

And I wanted to share reviews of these plays as part of my NaBloPoMo, in no particular order.

Over the summer, I went with another new friend, (who played Laertes in Hamlet, by the way), to see a modern-day take on Shakespeare’s Romeo and Juliet.  This time it was a very fun Japanese “Manga-style” update to The Bard’s famous tragedy.  I have to say it really was a perky interpretation, complete with girls in blue and purple hair and short plaid Catholic school-girl skirts, Friars in authentic Zen Buddhist robes, sword play with “stage-safe” handmade Japanese katanas, a buff looking Romeo and a very comely pink-haired Juliet who sported a Sailor Moon outfit in one scene and a Hello Kitty nightgown in another. I was pleasantly surprised that I knew one of the actors.

The only thing missing was tentacle porn (if you don’t know what that is, please don’t ask me); though of course, for those of you who don’t really know, there’s LOTS of sexual innuendos in The Bard’s plays, we often just don’t know it because of the nature of Shakespeare’s English is foreign enough to our modern ears to disguise it.

Don’t believe me? Read this:

http://andreasgramm.de/papers/Gramm_Sexual_Allusions_in_the_Works_of_William_Shakespeare.pdf

As fun as this play was, it didn’t have the same impact that I experienced when I watched my friend’s spectacular, gripping take on Hamlet – which, I know, I still have to write a review about.

I found it original, to be sure, and definitely interesting, but it lacked the emotional intensity I was hoping for in the beautiful tragedy of star-crossed lovers. I didn’t sit perched at the edge of my seat. My heart-strings weren’t tugged at the young lovers’ plight.  And while the sword play with katanas was kind of cool, it wasn’t as authentic to me as the duel between Laertes and Hamlet in my friend’s production. I was much more emotionally invested in Hamlet than I was in Romeo and Juliet, which was disappointing, because I was hoping for a little emotional catharsis.

I’ll not complain, though. I had a really lovely, enjoyable night out with my companion and great conversation before and after the show.  I’m having a blast and so glad I’d been introduced to the theater scene around here.

NaBloPoMo November 2014

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About Casey

“the only people for me are the mad ones, the ones who are mad to live, mad to talk, mad to be saved, desirous of everything at the same time, the ones who never yawn or say a commonplace thing, but burn, burn, burn like fabulous yellow roman candles exploding like spiders across the stars and in the middle you see the blue centerlight pop and everybody goes ‘Awww!’ ~ Jack Kerouac, On The Road Again
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2 Responses to A modern take on Romeo and Juliet

  1. Oh dear. I had to look up tentacle porn and rather wish I hadn’t 🙂

    • Casey says:

      I’m sorry about that, Malcolm.

      I just threw that into my review because it was kind of funny. My friend and I were talking about the odd proclivities out there in the world and it came up when we were talking about the play on the way home which went along with Japanese anime.

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