We saw an interesting all-female Romeo & Juliet Monday night. I’ve never seen any Taffety Punk before, but I recognized many of the actresses from other work around town, and I was impressed by the talent. Their Mercutio, Kimberly Gilbert, was dynamite. (Unsurprising, given that one of the best shows I’ve seen, ever, was her amazing one-woman, fifteen-character performance of The K of D. But I loved the Queen Mab monologue.) Casting young women as Benvolio, Romeo, and Mercutio heightened the roughhousing and teasing of the early scenes. Their macho posturing made it so evident that these are teenage boys. It was so different from seeing the roles played by middle-aged men, and it exploded all the bawdy wordplay of the text.
I love theatre that makes me see classics in new ways. Like the R & J last spring at Synetic. It was a silent adaptation, all movement and dance, and it was breathtaking–literally. It was the sexiest play I’ve ever seen. And it exploded that aspect of Romeo and Juliet, the absolute lust that slams into them and overwhelms them and makes them do foolish things. There was a dance behind white sheets with flickering lights that was exquisite. And hot. Did I mention that already?
I miss theatre a little lately. I need to read up on what’s playing around town and schedule some shows, but I’m tougher to please now. I mean, I still try to look at everything with a charitable dramaturgical slant. What works? What strengths can be maximized? What do I want more of? But every night out means a night I don’t have time to write, and that makes me less patient with flaws. If I’m clockwatching during a dull show: grrr, I could be working!
But there’ll be loads of time for that next month, when Steve launches into six weeks of rehearsals.
Off to explore season calendars and discounts…I think first on my list is the corresponding all-male R & J across town.