A Directory of Shakespeare in Performance, 1970–1990 pp 1479-1554 | Cite as
Romeo and Juliet
Located in a beautiful dairy and lake country between Lewiston and Augusta, the Theater at Monmouth is a superb setting for Shakespeare. Busty Victorian deities float in murals above the proscenium arch, two magnificent boxes flank the stage and are neatly incorporated into the action, a platform circles into the audience under the arch, and a high ceiling echoes the orchestras antique music to the spectators below. A new company has brought Shakespeare to Maine, and the productions are more than equal to the settings Zeffirelli’s Romeo is an impossible act to follow… While such a criterion is unfair, Robert Joyces Romeo made it inevitable by failing to integrate the wonderful Monmouth stage into the total design of a production … Instead, stage hands carried on properties, reminiscent of the signs on the sides of stages in the old vaudeville theaters—Friar Laurences herb stand, Juliet’s bien The delays grew longer as the play went on, particularly unfortunate in a play where events run out of control, where time leaps forward to rush the young lovers to their doom… The play’s rhythm was lost in the Monmouth production. In other ways, however, Director Joyce achieved a fine balance. Friar Laurence and the Nurse…, the two older people whose thwarted hopes are played out through younger lives, were wonderfully portrayed by William Meisle and Davida Manning. It seemed at first that Meisle did not exploit the comic possibilities in Laurence. But his serious interpretation grew in stature, until at the end he was the grieving father of the two young people, having won that title from the oblivious noblemen, Montague and Capulet. Davida Mannings Nurse was appropriately overpowering.
KeywordsStone Column Death Scene Program Note Festival Director Funeral Procession
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