|One of my most prized possessions.|
I know what you're thinking. And no, it's not just because of the interracial casting.
Okay, well, maybe a little bit, but here's why I'm really excited:
It's Shakespeare, duh.
When I spent the summer before my senior year of college studying abroad at Oxford University in England, I had no idea how the months I spent there studying 17th Century Literature and Shakespeare would forever shape me as a student, reader, writer and person. As a girl whose previous references to Romeo and Juliet were largely "that movie Aaliyah was in" or "that movie with Leonardo DiCaprio," I left Oxford with a deep understanding of the connections between art, literature, poetry, and performance. It was one thing to struggle through reading Chaucer's old English aloud in a hot, sweaty, college classroom and whole other to be immersed in Shakespeare's hometown of Statford-Upon-Avon, sitting in the Royal Shakespeare Theatre or along the banks of the River Avon, watching productions of the plays you've spent weeks discussing, dissecting, and analyzing during tutorial. I've been a fan ever since.
Condola. Freakin'. Rashad.
Last fall she had me and pretty much everyone else in the Cort Theatre picking up our respective jaws from the floor in Kenny Leon's production of Lydia Diamond's Stickfly, confirmed by her Tony Award nomination. Unlike my husband, once I knew Condola Rashad was playing Juliet I cared very little about the rest of the cast:
"Who's playing Romeo? Who else is in the play?" My husband asked.
"Oh I don't know...some random guy named Orlando something. Oh, and that guy from American Idol with the curly hair. I think he was the same season as Kelly Clarkson."
"Oh you mean Orlando Bloom? From Pirates of the Caribbean?"
"I don't know. Doesn't ring a bell. Wait, Pirates of the Caribbean? Wasn't that Johnny Depp?"
Needless to say, the production ROMEO and JULIET on Broadway kicks off this Friday, August 24th at the Richard Rogers Theater in New York City starring Condola Rashad as Juliet and Orlando Bloom (not Johnny Depp) as Romeo (and Justin Guarini as Paris).
Do you plan on seeing Romeo and Juliet on Broadway? If you do, leave a comment and let us know what you thought!