BWW Review: The World Premiere of & JULIET at NJ Rep is Intriguing
New Jersey Repertory Company (NJ Rep) is now presenting & Juliet through June 4th. The World Premiere play is written by Robert Caisley and superbly directed by Marc Geller. Caisley has cleverly embedded parallels to Shakespeare's works in this show about conflict in academia. Once again, Producing Artistic Director Gabor Barabas and Artistic Director, Suzanne Barabas are presenting the metro audience with a new play that will enthrall theatergoers.
& Juliet, is set at a small, conservative rural college. Charlie Vaughn is a young director who has just taken a position in the theater department. As he settles into his office, Dr. David Hughes, an older, tenured faculty member and a traditional drama professor, offers an insincere welcome. Vaughan is excited to stage the college's production of William Shakespeare's Romeo and Juliet, Elizabethan style, with an all-male cast. Enter Annie, a senior and an African-American drama student who believes that she deserves to play the role of Juliet. She has trained for the role, working closely with Dr. Hughes to prepare to audition. To complicate matters, Annie is persistent, contentious, and has a history of problematic behavior. Tension and jealousy take center stage as Dr. Hughes and Annie threaten to undermine Charlie Vaughn's new position at the college.
The cast of & Juliet possess a mastery of their roles. The three-person company includes John FitzGibbons as David Hughes, Jacob A. Ware as Charlie Vaughn, and Nadia Brown as Annie. You will be drawn into every scene as they impeccably deliver the well-crafted dialogue.
NJ Rep's production team impresses with set design by Jessica Parks; lighting design by Jill Nagle; sound design by Merek Royce Press; costume design by Patricia E. Doherty; properties by Marisa Procopio. Brian Snyder is the Technical Director; Kristin Pfeifer is the Stage Manager; Adam von Pier is the Assistant Stage Manager.
& Juliet is a smart production that that will resonate broad audience. Gather your group and see this contemporary drama while it is on the Long Branch stage.
& Juliet runs for 2 hours with one intermission. It will be performed at New Jersey Repertory Company through June 4th. The theater is located at 179 Broadway, Long Branch, NJ. Call them at 732.229.3166 and visit their web site at www.njrep.org.
Photo Credit: Suzanne Barabas