On Saturday, Oct. 10, R & J, Expanded Arts' all male rendition of Shakespeare's classic tragedy Romeo and Juliet, marks its 300th performance. The show is already the longest-running production of the romantic tragedy ever in New York City. In addition to a national tour, two new resident companies, in San Francisco and London, have been planned. The San Fran R & J, at the Gateway Theatre, will begin rehearsals on Jan. 2, 1999, with previews beginning shortly afterward. The London company will begin rehearsals in March 1999 for an April out-of-town opening in North Hampton, prior to its London opening.
Original adaptor/director Joe Calarco will be directing both productions. The current New York cast includes: Matt Dill, Jeremy Peter Johnson, Caesar Samayoa, and Greg Shamie.
R & J tells its familiar story through the musing of four students from a repressive boys school who decide to stage the production for their own enjoyment. The production began life at Expanded Arts' Off-Off-Broadway home earlier this season, before transferring to the John Houseman Studio Theatre on 450 W. 42nd St. The show won the 1998 Lucille Lortel Award for Outstanding Achievement.
For ticket information for Expanded Arts' R & J at the John Houseman Studio Theatre, call (212) 239-6200.
-- By Sean McGrath