Romeo and Juliet – Review by Bonnie Goldberg

LOVE AND LOSS ABOUND IN “ROMEO AND JULIET”

Two hearts are set on each other when Juliet, from the house of the Capulets, gazes for the first time on Romeo, from the feuding house of the Montagues. Their love burns with a fiery flame, one that is too hot not to consume their passion. Tragically their families bear each other an ancient grudge that dooms their romance as told in the tale by William Shakespeare, “Romeo and Juliet,” illuminating the stage of the Westport Country Playhouse until Sunday, November 19.

Innocence blinds the pair of star-crossed lovers momentarily as they meet at a masquerade ball and fall blissfully in love. The reality of their situation is quickly realized as they acknowledge neither set of their parents will ever agree to their match.

Nicole Rodenburg’s Juliet and James Cusati-Moyer’s Romeo are the teenagers who embrace love and each other, then steal off to marry with the help of Peter Francis James’ Friar Laurence and Juliet’s nurse, Felicity Jones Latta. So brief the courtship and the tender bloom of their love.

The law of the land of Verona does not stop the feuding that causes Tybalt (Dave Register) from the house of the Capulets to slay Mercutio (Patrick Andrews) from the house of the Montagues. Romeo is swept into the fray and revenges one death with another, killing Tybalt, and causing his own banishment. Thus, the young lovers are doomed by their parents’ animosity to a tragic end. All this takes place on a beautiful tapestry-like set designed by Michael Yeargan, with a feast of costumes by Fabian Fidel Aguilar. Mark Lamos puts his special touches and talents on this classic tale, “never was a story of more woe than Juliet and her Romeo.”

For tickets ($30 and up), call Westport Country Playhouse, 25 Powers Court, off route 1, Westport at 203-227-4177 or 888-927-7529 or online at www.westportplayhouse.org. Performances are Tuesday at 7 p.m., Wednesday at 2 p.m. and 8 p.m., Thursday and Friday at 8 p.m., Saturday at 3 p.m. and 8 p.m. and Sunday at 3 p.m.

The joy of wedding planning quickly turns to preparations for funerals as the two feuding families learn too late what their enmity has cost.

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