By Adam Hetrick
14 Jan 2014
|Photo by Joseph Marzullo/WENN|
Helmed by David Leveaux (Arcadia, Cyrano de Bergerac, Nine), the contemporary staging of Romeo and Juliet officially opened Sept. 19 after previews that began Aug. 24. The production ended its Broadway run Dec. 8 at the Richard Rodgers Theatre after 27 previews and 93 regular performances.
Emmy Award winner Don Roy King directed the filmed version of the stage production that was captured Nov. 27. The live film will arrive in theatres beginning Feb. 13. For a complete listing of screenings, visit BroadwayHD.com.
Critics responded coolly to the modern production of Shakespeare's classic featuring members of the Montague family played by white actors, and the Capulet family played by black actors. Read the reviews here.
In addition to Bloom as Romeo and Rashad as Juliet, the cast also featured Tony Award nominee Jayne Houdyshell (Follies, Dead Accounts) as the Nurse, Tony Award winner Brent Carver (Kiss of the Spider Woman, Parade) as Friar Laurence, Tony winner Chuck Cooper (The Life; Caroline, or Change) as Lord Capulet, Christian Camargo ("The Hurt Locker," "Twilight," All My Sons) as Mercutio, Justin Guarini (Women on the Verge, "American Idol") as Paris, Roslyn Ruff ( The Piano Lesson, "The Help") as Lady Capulet, Conrad Kemp ("The Girl") as Benvolio, Corey Hawkins as Tybalt and Geoffrey Owens as Prince Escalus.
Completing the company were Donte Bonner, Joe Carroll, Don Guillory, Sheria Irving, Maurice Jones, Eric Loscheider, Spencer Plachy, Michael Rudko, Tracy Sallows, Thomas Schall, Carolyn Michelle Smith and Nance Williamson.
The creative team included scenic designer Jesse Poleshuck, costume designer Fabio Toblini, lighting designer David Weiner, sound designer David Van Tieghem and hair designer David Brian Brown.
According to producers, "In this new production, the members of the Montague household will be white, and the blood relatives of the Capulet family will be black. While race defines the family lineages, the original cause of the ‘ancient quarrel’, passed down by successive generations to their young, has been lost to time. Shakespeare’s dramatization of the original poem sets the two young lovers in a context of prejudice, authoritarian parents, and a never ending cycle of ‘revenge.’ Against this background, the strength of their love changes the world."