Ellen Stewart Pens Romeo and Juliet "Dance Opera" Adaptation for La Mama

News   Ellen Stewart Pens Romeo and Juliet "Dance Opera" Adaptation for La Mama La MaMa's legendary head Ellen Stewart has written and will direct an adaptation of Romeo and Juliet for the theatre, which will run May 24-June 17.

Opening is May 27 for a production that includes a multicultural cast of 26 performers, with Noshir Dalal as Romeo and Malaika Queano as Juliet.

Press notes describe the adaptation as a "dance opera" that sets the story as a "traveling road show attended by the Montagues and Capulets in Verona. One of the novelty acts in the road show is a dancer named Petrushka, who performs a selection from Igor Stravinsky's famed ballet score, 'Petrushka.'"

The first part of the production takes place outside La MaMa Annex. The audience later proceeds upstairs to the theatre for the story's masked ball scene and the conclusion.

The adaptation expands the roles of Juliet's nurse and Juliet's servant Peter. Stewart has created three new characters called "The Particulars," a trio of women who are part of the Capulet household and also function as a Greek chorus.

For the play, Stewart has also written verses set to music, which she has composed with Genji Ito and Michael Sirotta. Music direction is by Michael Sirotta, with music performed live, by a three-piece band. The production also has choreography by Renouard Gee and H.T. Chen; set design by Mark Tambella, Jun Maeda and Stewart; lighting design by Federico Restrepo; and costumes by Radu and Miruna Boruezescu and Kanako Hiyama.

The production will intersect with the Public Theater's production of Romeo and Juliet in Central Park, which also has original music.

La MaMa ETC Annex is located at 66 East 4th Street. Tickets can be reserved by calling (212) 475-7710 or by visiting www.lamama.org.