Sunday, June 28, 2015

SF Shakespeare's Romeo and Juliet

We made it for opening weekend, eager to attend because several of the girls' Shakespeare teachers were in starring roles.  So glad we went! They know "Romeo" well but had never seen him act before; Carl was truly amazing, both in the comedic first half and in the tragic second.  Their other favorite teacher played the Friar and the Montague head of household.  They'd seen Phil in other productions (Macbeth, Taming of the Shrew) and he was fantastic in this one as well.  In addition, they recognized a number of the actors from other productions and I appreciated the diversity of the cast, which included both Black actors in major roles and women seamlessly cast in male parts.  Also, the director recognized K, came over and said, "I remember you.  You were great as the Scottish king."  So fun.

Romeo and Juliet isn't a favorite: despite the sword play, the romance takes center stage and it can be so terribly sappy - teen love at first sight - blah.  Last September, we saw Romeo and Juliet at Marin Shakespeare and Juliet was played like a screechy, annoying teenager, lending to the comic elements of the play, but not to its tragic ones.  I had hoped to understand this play's appeal and that production didn't help, though when the SF Ballet did it... well, that was spectacular.  Still, the language is missing in a ballet.  This was different... even knowing the plot and clearly seeing it staged and not real, I was swept away by the story, alternatively laughing at the comic components and gasping at the drama.  The weeping of the actors in the lead roles was so authentic that I admit to crying with them as well, aching with their expressions of their character's pain.

Another night that left us feeling rich for the experience of having been there, we are grateful for SF Shakespeare and the magnificent actors and directors who bring such richness to our lives.  It was a great evening too (except for the dive bombing Jurassic moths that emerged with twilight!) and we had a lovely gourmet picnic, the four of us cuddled together enjoying the show and each other.  Magic!

We could choose and went with Romeo's house, since we root for Carl.

G looking very grown up with actors rehearsing their fight scenes behind her.  It was cool to get there early and see the intense choreography behind the fight scenes and hear the actors' critiques of one another.

They had a fun pre-show educational event; the girls were part of the group of kids who volunteered to help demonstrate how a sonnet is composed.

Lovely cuddle time.  :-)

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