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ROMEO & JULIET BROADWAY REVIEWS

Opening Night: September 19, 2013

Show NY TIMES BROADWAY WORLD WSJ AP TIME OUT
Broadway Review Broadway Review Broadway Review Broadway Review Broadway Review

Synopsis: One of Shakespeare's most well-known and performed plays, Romeo and Juliet is a tragedy about two young star-crossed lovers whose deaths ultimately reconcile their feuding families. The first Broadway staging in 36 years, this revival of Romeo and Juliet retains Shakespeare’s language while moving the setting to contemporary times in which the warring Montague and Capulet families are of different ethnicities.

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NEW YORK TIMES REVIEW:

"A sense of divine justice seizes us whenever two of the world’s prettiest people find each other. This was true when Taylor met Burton, when Brad met Angelina, when Paris met Helen, or even when Narcissus met his reflection. We just can’t help sighing over the glory of separate souls wrapped in the luxury of shared beauty. Then there’s that other part of us that thinks, both fearfully and hopefully, “It can’t last.”"

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BROADWAY WORLD REVIEW:

"Regrettably, it's the stage-long row of flames that rises from the floor and makes the occasional dramatic cameo that provides any kind of heat in director David Leveaux's soggy production of Romeo and Juliet. Despite the presence of some fine actors who manage to light some sparks here and there, this gimmicky rendering of Shakespeare's tale of adolescent lust gone tragic is curiously lacking in tension, passion, romance and, for some cast members, clear diction."

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WALL STREET JOURNAL REVIEW:

"Shakespeare on Broadway is always a risky proposition, both financially and artistically. Even “Romeo and Juliet,” which is as safe as it gets, hasn’t been seen there for a quarter-century. Nor is David Leveaux a particularly safe proposition: Of the 11 shows he’s previously directed on Broadway, only one, the 2004 revival of “Fiddler on the Roof,” was a hit. So it makes sense that he should have taken out an expensive piece of flop insurance for his new production of “R & J.” Orlando Bloom, the Romeo, is a movie star best known to U.S. audiences for his appearances in the “Pirates of the Caribbean” franchise, and Mr. Leveaux has given him a cheer-for-the-star entrance: He rides a motorcycle onstage and pulls off his helmet, resulting in squeals from all the susceptible girls in the audience."

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ASSOCIATED PRESS REVIEW:

"NEW YORK — Orlando Bloom has answered the timeless question: What if Romeo wore black jeans? OK, they may not be exactly black, but they're a dark wash and ripped at the knees. As Romeo, he pairs them with a pair of scuffed Red Wing-style boots, a tight long-sleeve white jersey, lots of necklaces and a gray hoodie. Oh, and a motorcycle. Yes, he roars onto the stage on a Triumph. (And Romeo, that impulsive youth, does indeed wear a helmet, good lad)."

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TIME OUT NEW YORK REVIEW:

"In David Leveaux’s handsome but weirdly restrained Romeo and Juliet, the Montagues are played by white actors and the Capulets by black ones, and the civil unrest that roils Verona’s streets is good old-fashioned racial animosity. The tactic is as old as West Side Story and has been repeated many times since. If used, the concept ought to inform an entire production and shed light on Shakespeare’s classic tale about the timelessness of love and the bad timing of impetuous youths in love. But, as with many of Leveaux’s slick and often empty forays onto Broadway, the color-coding is only skin deep."

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