Romeo and Juliet | Touhy Park | Theater & Performance | Chicago Reader

Romeo and Juliet Free The Short List (Theater) Closing (Theater and Galleries)

When: July 11-12 2009

Deploying a vibrant supporting cast and rattling fight scenes to go with his edited version of the Bard's play, director Matthew Zaradich provides a great primer for Shakespeare newbies. Zaradich's decision to cast the star-crossed lovers as neurotic hipster eye candy--with Romeo's camel nose standing in for a codpiece--works. (The two have always struck me as unsympathetic heroes, anyway: Romeo the fickle cradle robber, Juliet the petulant child.) The rest of the cast of this Purple Bench Productions show cover any gaps--especially Mira Frydrych as the Nurse, even though a few of her best lines have been cut. Shakespeare can be a challenge for audience and performers alike, but seeing it done well, for free, on a sunny day in the park, is something special. --Keith Griffith