PLAYBILL.COM'S THEATRE WEEK IN REVIEW, Sept. 14-20: Romeo and Juliet Opens on Broadway, Mr. Burns a Hot Ticket and New Plays Across the Pond

By Robert Simonson
20 Sep 2013

Orlando Bloom
Photo by Carol Rosegg
AP credited "David Leveaux with trying to make Shakespeare cool, even if this uneven production sometimes misses the mark by falling in love with its visual effects," but was not won over by the leads, who "when they're apart, the weight of these roles seems to push them down." The Wall Street Journal faulted the entire concept, writing, "This R & J is a slick, weightless assemblage of modern-dress trickery (Romeo wears a hoodie and jeans) whose conception is as stale as its been-there-seen-that décor and TV-movie music. From the low-impact knife fight to the brutally abridged tomb scene (what happened to Paris?), it proceeds systematically along its overfamiliar way, never missing a chance to be obvious. When the star-crossed lovers paw one another lasciviously at their first meeting, you can almost hear Mr. Leveaux assuring himself, 'That ought to thrill the kiddies.'"

And Hollywood Reporter noted that "dreamy intoxication…is largely missing from David Leveaux's snoozy modern-dress production, along with poetry and heat. Bloom is the big name on the marquee and he makes a confident Broadway debut, roaring onto the stage on a motorcycle no less. But such contemporary trappings never quite amount to a distinctive edge."


How do the British come up with new ideas for stage shows? They go to the movies!

Movies are routinely adapted into musicals in America. A short list of examples includes The Producers, Hairspray, Dirty Rotten Scoundrels, Catch Me If You Can, The Lion King and the current Big Fish and The Jungle Book. But movies adapted into straight plays seems to be the special province of the British. Prominent examples include the smash hit The Graduate, 2008's Rain Man and the recent bomb Breakfast at Tiffany's.

Fatal Attraction, a new stage version of the 1987 film, will receive its world premiere at London's Theatre Royal Haymarket, beginning previews March 8, 2014, prior to an official opening March 25, for a 15-week run through June 21.

It will be directed by Trevor Nunn and adapted by James Dearden, writer of the original screenplay. The Michael Douglas-Glenn Close thriller was a surprise smash back in the '80s.

As in the original film, the play will track how a casual sexual encounter with the woman Alex Forrest quickly becomes a living nightmare for Dan Gallagher, a successful New York lawyer, his young family and their pet rabbit.

The show is produced by Theatre Royal Haymarket Productions, Robert Fox and Patrick Ryecart.