Saturday, September 23, 2006

Opening Night (Slightly Delayed)

"Hey, Ho, the Wind and the Rain" . . . Flatwater's Romeo and Juliet waited an extra night before starting its run at the open-air Swan Theatre on the 22nd. Over 100 audience members enjoyed a complex and entertaining realization of Shakespeare's play, as tragedy and comedy fought for dominance as fiercely as the Montagues and Capulets. Members of the ensemble shared the opening Chorus, reminding everyone from the start that this is a tragic tale: we need the reminder, because the play that follows constantly shifts from hilarity to heartbreak. The comic confrontation between servants of the two families leads to a threatened death sentence from the Prince; Romeo and Juliet are giddy about their infatuation and deathly serious about their love; Mercutio cannot keep himself from making jokes about his mortal wound.

This production does justice to both modes -- going from one extreme to the other. The two principal actors lead the way. As Romeo, Colin Creveling conveys a young man's quick wit, deep romanticism, goofiness and devotedness (and self-awareness about his excesses). As Juliet, Mikael Walter communicates a young woman's determination to fulfill both her obligations (to her family, to her new husband) and her deepest desires. She is at first amused and then entranced by Romeo's ardor -- and returns his passion with intense certainty.

The show continues this Sunday, the 24th, and runs for the next two weekends, Thursday through Sunday, at 7:30 p.m. Tickets can be reserved by calling 484-7640 or by visiting our website, www.flatwatershakespeare.org.

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