Theatre Mirror Reviews - "Romeo & Juliet"

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entire contents copyright 2005 by Tony Annicone

"Romeo & Juliet"

Reviewed by Tony Annicone

Bay Colony Productions' current show is William Shakespeare's "Romeo and Juliet". It's considered to be one of the greatest work's of romantic literature. Written in 1591, it is a story of deep passions which come out as love or violence. Director Steve Dooner sets the play in the 1950's but it can also be seen as a contemporary play with gang violence, emotionally absent parent, generation gap frustrations, reckless youth and torrid romantic love. Dooner casts his show splendidly and has designed an excellent unit set. The dramatic moments sparkle and shine with his 21 member cast and costume designer Daniel Kozar captures the spirit of the 1950's with his gorgeous costumes.

Dooner trims the show to a managable 2 and a half hours, capturing the essence of the play. The first section includes the needed expostion for first time audiences but it is the end of the first section with the deaths of Mercutio and Tybalt and the dynamic second section that will impress even the seasoned Shakespearean theatre goers. Matthew Romero and Jessica Borden make the needed transition from youthful lovers into the dramatic adults beautifully. His scene with the Friar and her scenes with her parents, the nurse and the Friar are dynamite. They show great range in their parts. Two of the most outstanding performers in this show are Jim Sullivan as Friar Laurence and Laura Desmarais as the nurse. Their vocal prowess with this language and their reactions to the other performers are astounding. Other powerful actors include David DaCosta as Juliet's overbearing, wealthy father, Wendy Lippe as her mother, Catherine Corbett ( a high school senior) as Mercutio, Eliot Dort as Benvolio and Jack Ferdman as Tybalt. Their scenes are fantastic especially the deaths of Mercutio and Tybalt. ( An excellent comic cameo is supplied by Bill Cunnigham as Peter, a dimwitted servant, carrying a huge stack of gifts.) So for a trip to the past with 21 talented performers, be sure to catch this version of "Rome & Juliet". An added treat before the performance was an art show by Ray Sewell who played Romeo's father. He may be a newcomer to theater, appearing in only his second show but he is a master artist which is reflected in his artwork. Ray is splitting the proceeds from his sales with the Orpheum so anyone interested in his work should contact the theater.

"Romeo & Juliet" ( 18 - 26 March)
BAY COLONY PRODUCTIONS
The Orpheum Theater, 1 School Street, FOXBORO MA
1 (508)543-ARTS