Review Roundup: CSC's ROMEO & JULIET
Classic Stage Company, under the leadership of Artistic Director Brian Kulick and Executive Director Greg Reiner, presents Shakespeare'sRomeo & Juliet, starring Elizabeth Olsen as Juliet and Julian Cihi as Romeo, directed by Tea Alagic.
The cast of Romeo & Juliet also features McKinley Belcher III (Benvolio), Daniel Davis (Friar Laurence), Stan Demidoff (Paris/Sampson), Harry Ford(Gregory, Friar John, Watchman), David Garrison (Capulet), T. R. Knight (Mercutio), Anthony Michael Martinez (Prince), Kathryn Meisle (Lady Capulet), Dion Mucciacito (Tybalt), John Rothman (Montague/Apothecary) and Daphne Rubin-Vega(Nurse). Set design is by Marsha Ginsberg; costumes by Clint Ramos, lighting by Jason Lyons, and original music and sound by Ryan Rumery.
Let's see what the critics had to say...
Michael Dale, BroadwayWorld: They say that if the great playwrights of the past were alive today, many of them would be writing for television. Classic Stage Company's new mounting of Romeo and Juliet, directed by Tea Alagic, makes a good argument that William Shakespeare's tragedy of teenage lust could have been submitted as a continuing arc for HBO's hit series, Girls. Although he may have had to submit it as W. Shakespeare in order to trick Lena Dunham into thinking he was a female twentysomething. And the best argument that it could succeed very nicely isElizabeth Olsen's neurotically charged Juliet. Dressed by designer Clint Ramos in a contemporary pretty white dress and black combat boots, she could pass for an NYU liberal arts grad stressing out over boyfriend problems. After all, Julian Cihi's somber, unemotional Romeo, though not without an attractively dark and sensitive quality, is certainly not the type that would be open about his feelings in a relationship.
Ben Brantley, New York Times: So please let it be noted that we did not walk away from this otherwise misguided take on Shakespeare's star-crossed lovers empty-handed. And who knows? Perhaps this production will inspire some young Tom Stoppard type to come up with his own "Rosencrantz and Guildenstern Are Dead"-style rewriting of "Romeo and Juliet," seen from the perspective of her wanton ladyship.
Linda Winer, Newsday: The production has a mad, playful streak that calls attention away from the drama at least as often as it amuses with its audacity. There is no balcony, and Tybalt gets stabbed by what appears to be a sharp little marble. Romeo wears a Pooh Bear head when he crashes the costume ball to fall fatally in love with Juliet. Daniel Davis keeps his dignity as Friar Laurence, which, under the circumstances, seems extraordinary.