Tag Archives: Lansburgh Theatre

KFDC Review: Shakespeare Theatre Company’s Romeo and Juliet

Photo courtesy of Shakespeare Theatre Company

Photo courtesy of Shakespeare Theatre Company

If a production of the classic Shakespearean tragedy Romeo and Juliet could be deemed fun, the Shakespeare Theatre Company’s current version of the story of star-crossed lovers is it. This modern day take on the play is loaded with LOL moments and an edgy flare that gives it a playful yet still dramatic tone. And at a show where we all know what happens, it’s this unique presentation that makes it so appealing.

From the opening scene when servants of both the Capulets and Montagues have a confrontational encounter, a contemporary aesthetic and air is established. The characters are dressed in modern clothes with accents that sound more New York than Renaissance. And the set is a deep red with mod furnishings, giving it all a loungy club feel. This vibe is at its peak during the Capulet’s party, where Romeo and Juliet have their love-at-first-sight moment amidst a partying crowd dancing to DJ-spun techno, a fantastically choreographed scene that is mesmerizing to watch.

Photo courtesy of Shakespeare Theatre Company

Photo courtesy of Shakespeare Theatre Company

As for the laughs, most are elicited from Juliet’s nurse, played by Inga Ballard, who injects sass and humor into the role. And Mercutio, played by Jeffrey Carolson, delivers his lines with such a dude-like cynicism, you can’t help but chuckle when he speaks.

And speaking of characters, I have to note the main ones, played by Andrew Veenstra and Ayana Workman, were perfectly cast. His Romeo was earnest and endearing (not to mention quite handsome!), and her Juliet unjaded and exuberant. They have great chemistry and convey the drama of lovestruck teens exceptionally well.

Most of the “lighter” parts of the production occur in the first act and are balanced by darker drama in the second as the familiar plot unfolds. But the turn of the mood in no way deflects from the performance on stage, which is thoroughly captivating.

So, we all know how it ends (though on the chance you don’t, beware the spoilers in the image below), but it’s the execution of the play leading up to the finale that makes this production special. It also makes it one I’d recommend for kids, mature tweens and up. (I discussed this with the friend who joined me, and she agreed.) Of course, it would make for a great KidFree outing, too.

A little fun in the lobby during intermission

A little fun in the lobby during intermission

Romeo and Juliet is running at Lansburgh Theatre through November 6. The show is about 2.5 hours long with a 15-minute intermission. Tickets are $44-102.

Disclosure: I received complimentary tickets from Shakespeare Theatre Company to see Romeo and Juliet, however, all opinions expressed here are entirely my own.

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Make a Parent Play Date to See “As You Like It”

Photo by Scott Suchman, courtesy of Shakespeare Theatre Company

Photo by Scott Suchman, courtesy of Shakespeare Theatre Company

[Note: I had the opportunity to attend the opening night performance of Sheakespeare Theatre Company’s production of “As You Like It.” My friend, Torey, joined me, and provided the below write-up about it. Generally, we both recommend it for a grown-up outing, but older kids who can sit through long productions might enjoy it, too.]

As You Like It” is another wonderful production by Shakespeare Theater Company. The comedy of mistaken identity (and love, of course) will remind you of what Shakespeare did best: Create a tangled plot that lures you in with compelling characters and poetic verse.

The story is about Rosalind, who (disguised as a boy) runs away to the Forest of Arden with her cousin, Celia, fleeing her mean uncle. Throughout their journey, the two meet many interesting characters, including Rosalind’s love interest, Orlando, whom she encounters as he competes in a wrestling match in the forest. You’ll recognize one of Shakespeare’s most famous speeches, “All the world’s a stage…”, spoken by Jaques, a traveller they encounter along the way.

The cast of As You Like It is superb. Opening night shows can often come with kinks that haven’t quite been ironed out yet, but this performance was spot on, and the actors delivered as if they were months into it. I don’t want to spoil the ending, but it should surprise and delight if you enjoy seeing a talented cast come together and truly have fun on stage.

As You Like It is running at the Lansburgh Theatre through December 14. Tickets are available for purchase online or by calling 877-487-8849. The running time is 2 hours and 45 minutes, including intermission.

Disclosure: KidFriendly DC received complimentary tickets to see As You Like It, but all opinions expressed here are entirely those of the writer.

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Filed under Date Night, DC, Fall, Live Entertainment, Parents, Theatre, Weekdays, Weekend, Winter