November 1, 1996 |
Without question, the new version of "Romeo and Juliet" has its flaws. Caution is not one of them. As re-imagined by Australian director Baz Luhrmann ("Strictly Ballroom"), this is an outrageously over-the-top interpretation from Down Under. Romeo drops acid. Juliet speculates about Romeo's manly parts. Mercutio is Dennis Rodman. All of which makes "Romeo and Juliet" sound like a tongue-in-cheek, campy romp, which it really isn't. Peel back the wacky surface, and you'll find this "Romeo and Juliet" to be a heartfelt, serious-minded attempt to contemporize Shakespeare's great tragedy of young love crushed by ancient hatreds.
June 23, 2007 |
Rome & Jewels is dancer/choreographer Rennie Harris' tale of "a pair of star-crossed homies" who live in Philadelphia. But those homies' names are not Rome and Jewels - they're Rome and Tibault. Harris' Bessie Award-winning production was performed Thursday at the Kimmel Center's Perelman Theater as part of the 15th-anniversary celebration of his dance company, Rennie Harris Puremovement. While the piece is based loosely on Romeo and Juliet (and more closely on West Side Story)
February 16, 1995 |
The Merchant of Venice that Barry Edelstein has set on the stage of the Joseph Papp Public Theatre is one despairing view of human relations. The quarrels of the Montagues and Capulets are childish tantrums when set against the mutual hatred of Jews and Christians in this production, which betrays scarcely a hint of human feeling. You will search in vain here for more than a shred of decency in Ron Leibman's Shylock, Laila Robins' Portia, or any of the smarmy Christian men- about-the-canals who despise the Jewish moneylender and are despised by him in turn.
April 12, 2014 |
At its core, Romeo and Juliet , currently receiving a conceptually odd but effective treatment by Philadelphia Shakespeare Theatre, is all about the irresistible-force paradox: What happens when such a force meets an immovable object? If the force is teenage hormones and the object entrenched parents, the result, as observed by every English-speaking generation since 1597, is guaranteed to be messy. But this Romeo and Juliet , messy in almost all the wrong ways, somehow gets its young lovers and their terrifying frenzies just right.
May 6, 2011 |
No offense Big Momma and Madea, but Jumping the Broom offers the distinction of being the first predominantly black movie this year where the leading lady isn't a man in a housecoat. This buoyant, multigenerational comedy that takes its title from the African American wedding ritual has other distinctions as well. It's relatively raunch-free, it has a sparkling cast that reunites Waiting to Exhale stars Angela Bassett and Loretta Devine as combative matriarchs, and it likes its characters well enough to forgive them their faults.
February 6, 2011 |
Though the story of Romeo and Juliet never goes out of fashion, the question posed by the Opera Company of Philadelphia is this: Can it be about fashion? And on a less-than-Armani budget? Skepticism abounds in advance of Friday's opening of Gounod's Romeo et Juliette, which turns the Montagues and Capulets from families into rival fashion houses, spraying paint over each other's posters while vying for market domination. Surely the opera company's executives, Robert B. Driver and David Devan, are fielding plenty of "star-crossed runways" wisecracks.
March 5, 2010 |
The Arden Theatre Company's production of Shakespeare's Romeo and Juliet, as it has been cut and cast and focused by director Matt Pfeiffer, takes a while to hit its tragic stride. But once it does, it is very satisfying. The familiarity of the story makes it a hard play to do, since most people know the plot (teenagers from feuding families fall in love; a horrifying series of murders and suicides ensues), and many can quote at least a line or two ("Romeo, Romeo! wherefore art thou Romeo?"
November 27, 1993 |
Illness kept Daniele Gatti from his conducting debut with the Philadelphia Orchestra last summer, but, fortunately, the Milanese maestro was able to keep his appointment for the subscription concerts that began yesterday afternoon at the Academy of Music. Gatti, one of a handful of promising young conductors scheduled for the 1993-94 season, is the music director of the distinguished Accademia di Santa Cecilia in Rome. Gatti's podium style marries charisma and intensity, traits very much required for a program that included Stravinsky and Prokofiev.
April 6, 1994 |
There's nothing wrong with the current "Romeo and Juliet" at the People's Light and Theater Co. that a little paregoric wouldn't fix. I haven't seen such stomping and aimless dashing around since the same company's "Peter Pan" came thundering by earlier this season. I haven't seen so shameless a display of scenery-chewing as Romeo's banishment tantrum since the triumphant farewell tour of circus kitty-sitter Gunther Gebel-Williams. I lay these excesses squarely at the feet of director Peter DeLaurier, who apparently, with all good intentions, aimed for a lightness of style but got the chariot race from "Ben-Hur" instead.
April 1, 1994 |
Designer James F. Pyne Jr. has more than done his bit for the Romeo and Juliet that opened Wednesday at the People's Light and Theatre Company, furnishing a worthy frame for Shakespeare's poetic drama of old hatreds and young love. In most important respects, however, the canvas that director Peter DeLaurier has placed inside that frame is a conventional, pedestrian one, a paint-by-numbers exercise deficient in electricity and conviction. Along one wall of the People's Light main-stage space, Pyne has constructed the facade of an imposing house in Verona, a brick and stucco affair with arched doorways, a spiral staircase, more stairs at left and right, and a balcony extending the length of the wall.