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September 5, 2013 / admin

Orlando Bloom in IR Relationship – Romeo & Juliet on Broadway

At the end of the summer, New York Theater will welcome Orlando Bloom in his Broadway debut as Romeo in David Leveaux’s upcoming production of Romeo and Juliet, opposite Condola Rashad as Juliet.

Romeo will be a biker in the modern take on the Shakespearean tragedy, which is believed to have been written between 1591 and 1595.

The new play about a pair of star-crossed lovers will have the original language, but will not be set in the 14th century. And five-time Tony-nominated director David Leaveaux chose not to be colorblind about the two warring families.

“Yes – the Capulets are black, and the Montagues are white. But that’s actually not the reason for the feud,” Rashad said. “It just so happens that the families are of different races, which takes it a step further for an interracial cast.”

There are some who say that these productions are using the old interracial trick solely to bump up ticket sales and controversy. However, others have pointed out that the actor playing Orlando Bloom would have been enough of a reason to convince theater goers to reach for their credit cards.

I do admit, the fact that Romeo and Juliet will be a couple that “looks like me” does give me a reason to pluck down the dollars, whereas this play wouldn’t really be on my radar otherwise. *Don’t judge me. I know I can’t be the only one* [Kanye shrug]

Previews for “Romeo and Juliet” start on Aug. 24. It opens on Sept. 19.




Leave a Comment
  1. apothecary21c / Andrea Lewis / Sep 5 2013 1:29 am

    If I lived in New York, I would definitely go to this!

  2. Kiwiwriter / Sep 8 2013 6:07 pm

    Dividing up the Capulets and Montagues will certainly make it easy for an audience that is only familiar with the basics of this time-honored plot to figure out the players without a scorecard.

    Most people only know the basics of “Romeo and Juliet,” having had it inflicted on them in junior high school or high school. Or they know “West Side Story,” the 1961 musical and modern re-make of it.

    Parenthetically, Stephen Sondheim and Leonard Bernstein were involved in that musical heavily, and their song “Make a Place For Us” could also be interpreted as a plea for gay rights.

    My daughter read “Romeo and Juliet” and didn’t accept the idea that these two kids would stare at each other across a party and immediately fall in lifelong love. She’s probably right…at age 16, her brain and understanding of the world is going on 40.

    Shakespeare set up the play to make a hefty point, which resonates today, and I expect that English teachers inflict this play on middle-school kids for that reason, along with its relative simplicity of plot and setting. In addition, the subject of doomed romance is one that sets teenage girls of all ages on fire…look at the popularity of the insipid and doomed love triangle in the movie “Titanic,” for goodness’ sake.

    There was plenty of drama, pathos, humor, horror, and hubris in the actual story. James Cameron did not need to tack on the stupid doomed romance between social opposites to make the story gripping. The stupidity of the American people is shown by how many viewers of the movie were astounded to learn that the only fictional portion of the tale was the actual love triangle, not the demise of the ocean liner. “Romeo and Juliet” went to sea on RMS Titanic, Juliet escaped, and overheated shopgirls who dream that a tall, rugged, handsome wealthy man will walk into their nail salon and sweep them off their feet sighed happily…and went off to Halifax to lay flowers on the grave of the very real White Star Line fireman J. Dawson, who did die on Titanic.

    Anyway, back to Bloom and Rashad…I’m sure they’ll do fine. We know that Orlando Bloom has serious acting ability, and Condola Rashad has serious acting genes. The message that this version sends is extremely timely at any time, and even more so with the rise of interracial marriages and relationships, and the divisiveness of American society at the same time. We really do all have to get along, as Rodney King pleaded.

    I’d like to have worked at the Globe Theater during rehearsals of the original performance of “Romeo and Juliet,” and see Shakespeare himself directing the original cast…watching him and his actors work out the scenes, plot, and characters. I’d like to know what Shakespeare had in mind.

    He’s such a titan.

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