I'll say it worked!
Thank you Michael!
The Romeo and Juliet now playing at the Sam Bass Community Theatre in Round Rock is a slim, silvery production that clocks in at just about two hours.
Thanks to director Lynn Beaver for taking on the challenge of doing tragedy with this group of dedicated community players
Lynn loves a challenge!
Trey Deason as Romeo and CiCi Barone as Juliet are perfectly cast. He joins the awkward angularity of a boy who is almost a man with the moody focus, resolution and edge of desperation of a man wrestling with an impossible love. CiCi Barone moves from sweet simplicity in early scenes to a teasing self-confidence with her suitor Romeo; dismay with her father’s decision to marry her off estranges her from mother and nurse. They see her as a petulant child; Barone’s command of Shakespeare’s text makes it clear to us that she has made choices that determine her destiny.
CiCi has referred to Juliet as "a whiney little brat."
The company locates the action in an imagined contemporary Verona that is probably closer to some place like Venice, California. The Montague clan wear black and a junior member enters on a skateboard; Capulets, probably from the better side of the tracks, wear white. This easy color coding may help younger audiences and does not obstruct the action.
It does provide a potential difficulty at the Capulet party, where the unwelcome Montagues could hardly be disguised by masks, but we can forgive that. Old Capulet (the gallant and nattily clad Richard Dodwell) is affable enough to overlook a bit of riffraff on the periphery of his party.
Well, Tybalt does spot them right off, and Papa Cap knows who Romeo is as soon as he gets a good look.
And, my personal favourite:
In the final scene the black-white dichotomy of Montague vs. Capulet breaks down. Costuming reinforces the message or reconciliation.
Michael has wonderful things to say about Benvolio and Mercutio, as well.
I believe it worked!