Recently, we've seen an all-male Romeo And Juliet (titled R & J), not to mention a modernized film version starring Claire Danes and Leonardo DiCaprio. But is America ready for a rock & roll Romeo?
Well, we're about to find out, courtesy of Terrence Mann, the two time Tony nominated Broadway musical actor, who's busy composing a pop rock version of William Shakespeare's romantic tragedy. Goodspeed Opera House press rep Jennifer Wislocki confirmed (Jan. 4, 1999) that the Connecticut theatre is about to do a workshop of the show, which has music by Mann and Jerome Korman.
Mann is directing the workshop, with choreography by Christopher D'Amboise. A four-week rehearsal period began Jan. 4, 1999, culminating in ten workshop performances for invited audiences at the second stage, Goodspeed-at-Chester. Tickets are not onsale to the public for the performances, though that might change, says Wislocki, as the Feb. 4-14, 1999 workshop nears.
Starring in the workshop are Tim Martin Gleason (Romeo), Deedee Lynn Magno (Juliet), Mark Deklin (Tybalt), Stacia Fernandez (Nurse), Ken Land (Lord Capulet), John Schiappa (Friar), Abe Sylvia (Paris), Elizabeth Ward (Lady8 Capulet), Elmore James (Prince) and Sean Palmer (Mercutio). A 12 member ensemble and two children complete the cast.
Back in November 1998, Wislocki told Playbill On-Line Mann had initially thought of titling the musical "R & J" but then had to think of something else when the same-named Off-Broadway drama became a hit. (Joe Calarco's play closed in NY Jan. 3.) At the moment, Mann's work-in progress is being called Romeo And Juliet. A Tony nominee for both Les Miserables and Beauty And The Beast, Mann most recently appeared on Broadway in the pre-vamped version of The Scarlet Pimpernel. He also played an unscrupulous toy-maker in the Jerry Herman TV musical, "Mrs. Santa Claus."
Just So ended the current Goodspeed season. Due in 1999: On The Twentieth Century (April 9-July 3, 1999); No, No Nanette (July 9-Oct. 2, 1999) and Glimmerglass (Oct. 8-Dec. 19, 1999).
-- By David Lefkowitz and Sean McGrath