“A plague upon both your houses” Last Friday I took in opening night of the Theatre Department’s production of Shakespeare’s immortal Romeo and Juliet. The production directed by faculty member Tracy Williams, was a departure from what one thinks when seeing a play written circa 1590s. I found it quite inspiring to see young actors bring the comedy Shakespeare implies in act one, to the modern stage.
The performance was delivered not only from the stage but from all around the audience. Actors’ approached their marks from the side, below and from behind the audience. The thought put into the entrance and exits of the cast truly speaks to the collaboration between Williams and her technical crew. Seeing Romeo approach Juliet’s balcony, centered in the middle of the audience, gave a truly different perspective to Romeo’s desperation. I could tangibly see the thought put into the audience perspective, “Our Romeo and Juliet is a comedy for the first hour and fifteen minutes. It is hip, current, traditional, not time specific, vigorous, lively and clean in its storytelling. There is something for everyone,” said director Williams.
The entire cast delivered a stunning performance. Jonah Duhe, was a perfect fit as young impulsive Romeo. Duhe, played the naive, desperate-hearted protagonist like a sonata. Juliet (Lisa Naudi) brought all her feminine wiles and emotion to Juliet’s iconic balcony scene. “Wherefore art thou Romeo,” delivered by Naudi clad in all white, was breathtaking. I was particularly struck by the dark, unsettling scene with the Apothecary (John McCoy) and Romeo’s purchase of his final drink. The exchange in this scene sent a cold chill through the audience. And let ye not forget Reden Magtira’s incarnation of Mercutio. His sexually charged humor sent waves of laughter through the audience, but his delivery of “A curse on both your houses” sets the tone for the darkness that comes over act two.
The stagecraft was a very interesting departure from productions of Romeo and Juliet I have seen before. The neutral wood tones used on the set made scene changes non-jarring to the eye, Sound design for Romeo and Juliet’s final moments inside the tomb hit its mark. The stage lighting really takes the audience to their last moments.
It was truly a fine production rivaling a Broadway show, and at a reasonable price. In just a little over 2 hours, it makes a perfect date night out for students and anyone in the local community.
The cast features: Bryce Ayers, Timothy Cabal, Max Dannenberg, Bayani Decastro, Tom Derby, Kyle Dowdy, Jonah Duhe, Josef Emmenegger, Kiva Fohrman, Sawyer Henderson, Rachael Hodge, Reden Magtira, John McCoy, Fabian Meraz, Shane Murphy, Lisa Naudi, Courtney Nedelman, Emily Neifert, Thomas Edward Niemann, Joey Prete, Ivan Quezada, Stephanie Russo, Griffin Dor Satoda, Alex Smith, Hayden Sprool, Alex Tanner and Jim Winkler, LaDawn Johnson, and nay ye forget Chloe Richardson
Oct. 1, 6, 7, 8 at 7:30 p.m.
Oct. 1, 2, 8, 9 at 2 p.m.
General admission $16
MCC Students $11
For tickets go to www.miracosta.edu/buytix or the MCC Theatre Box Office.