The Off-Broadway premiere of Mark Saltzman’s Romeo & Bernadette: A Musical Tale of Verona and Brooklyn began performances January 14 ahead of an official opening January 23. Amas Musical Theatre’s production is scheduled to run through February 16 at the Mezzanine Theatre at A.R.T./New York Theatres.
The cast includes Nikita Burshteyn (Newsies), Anna Kostakis, Carlos Lopez (Man of La Mancha), Michael Marotta (Tenderly: The Rosemary Clooney Musical), Judy McLane (Mamma Mia!), Michael Notardonato, Ari Raskin, Troy Valjean Rucker (August Rush), Zach Schanne (Pippin), and Viet Vo (Viet Gone).
With a book and lyrics by Saltzman and music adapted from classic Italian melodies, the musical concerns the famed Romeo, who finds himself in 1960 Brooklyn, chasing a girl he believes is his beloved Juliet. But the girl is not Juliet, but Bernadette, rather, the beautiful, foul-mouthed daughter of a crime family in this spoof of Shakespeare’s timeless tale.