Tragic Romance In July
Summer Shakespeare continues in July
I can't picture WIlliam Shakespeare in winter. Or in Fall, really. Whenever I picture the man wandering around the streets of early 17th century London, I picture him walking around in summer.
There is more Shakespeare in summer than any other part of the year. This summer I will have seen something like one eighth of his plays. In a couple of days, I will be seeing Two Gentlemen of Verona in a park not far from my home. I haven't seen that one before, so I'm really looking forward to it. the very next day, I'll be covering As You Like It in Door County. Two different Shakespeare shows in two different ends of the state in two days. With Macbeth last week, that's three Shakespeares in 8 days. Then I've got a week off. And then Bad Example opens Juliet & Romeo.
The gender-flipped look at the tragic love story in a matriarchal world sounds intereting, but what's going to be even more interesting to me here is the fact that all of the bigger moments in the play--all of those moments that slice their way around the central romance were always occupied by the men who held all the cards in 16th century Italy. Switching those roles to the women gives certain actresses an opportunity to play roles more central to the action of a Shakespearian play. And just reading the cast list, names pop out that I'd always wanted to see in more central roles but haven't really had THAT MUCH of a chance to see in the past--names like Marcee Doherty, Ellen Dunphy, Gemma Fitzsimmons, Shannon Tyburski, Michelle White, and Gwen Zupan. Normally I wouldn't be all that excited to see another production of Romeo & Juliet, but as it stands, this is the one show that I'm looking forward to more than any other next month. And I hope it lives up to my expectations, because if it's done right this could be the single best production of this classic that I've ever seen.
Bad Example Productions' Juliet and Romeo runs July 12th through 29th at the Alchemist Theatre. For ticket reservations, visit the Alchemist online.