PHOTO EXCLUSIVE: A Two-Show Day at Broadway's Romeo and Juliet With Sheria Irving
This marks Irving's Broadway debut. Theatre work includes The Winter's Tale (Yale Rep), Hollow Roots, Wintertime, Blacktop Sky, Iphigenia Among The Stars (Yale School of Drama) and Anna Bella Eema, Becoming Sylvia (Williamstown Theater Festival).
The Broadway revival of Romeo and Juliet, starring Orlando Bloom ("The Lord of the Rings") and Tony Award nominee Condola Rashad (Stick Fly, The Trip to Bountiful) as Shakespeare's star-crossed lovers, will end its Broadway run Dec. 8 at the Richard Rodgers Theatre.
Helmed by David Leveaux, the contemporary staging of Romeo and Juliet officially opened Sept. 19 after previews that began Aug. 24. Leveaux has staged Arcadia, Cyrano de Bergerac, Nine, The Glass Menagerie and Jumpers on Broadway, among others. The production was selling tickets through Jan. 12, 2014. For the week ending Nov. 17, the Shakespeare classic played to 38.9 percent capacity. 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.
This production marks the first time in 36 years that the play has been produced for Broadway.
In addition to Bloom as Romeo and Rashad as Juliet, the cast also features 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 are 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 includes scenic designer Jesse Poleshuck, costume designer Fabio Toblini, lighting designer David Weiner, sound designer David Van Tieghem and hair designer David Brian Brown.
The Richard Rodgers Theatre also underwent an extensive renovation prior to the start of performances. Take a look inside the restoration of the historic theatre here.
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."
Producers have set aside 100 tickets per performance at $20 for purchase by students and educators.
For tickets visit Ticketmaster.com. The Richard Rodgers Theatre is located at 226 W. 46th Street.