The Unbearable Banishment: "So, Romeo wanted to, like, bang Juliet"

Friday, January 29, 2010

"So, Romeo wanted to, like, bang Juliet"

Instead of just another tired-ass production of Romeo and Juliet, the Nature Theater of Oklahoma put a wicked spin on it. They randomly phoned people and asked them to recall the plot. The play is a series of verbatim monologues based on those phone calls. The results are hysterical.

Two masterful actors deliver the monologues in Elizabethan English and period costumes. Some of the respondents were surprisingly knowledgeable about the play but most delivered the same vague, uninformed story that I, myself, would have given if they had phoned me.

The last quarter of the play is given over to a dialogue examining the annoying neediness of young lovers and, worse, the unquenchable hunger for attention by actors who embrace Shakespearean roles. At the very end of the play, after heaping all that onto a funeral pyre, the lights go down and the two actors stand center stage and deliver a bit of Romeo and Juliet just as Shakespeare intended it. The beauty of the language and difficulty of the delivery is suddenly revealed.



Anonymous popomatic.jeff said...

Of all the "new spins" on Shakespeare, this has to be the best idea ever.

January 29, 2010 at 11:10 AM  
Blogger St Jude said...

Oh I would love to see that, it sounds superb.

January 29, 2010 at 1:02 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

So, I wonder, where - geographically-speaking - were these phone calls placed to? Seems to me that that tidbit of information would be quite revealing and potentially hilarious, depending on whether or not you find ignorant folk humourous.

January 29, 2010 at 4:10 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

good god! trailer park shakespeare! i love it!

January 29, 2010 at 4:15 PM  
Blogger The Unbearable Banishment said...

Pop: I could never come up with something as fresh as that.

St. Jude: If it ever crosses the pond, it's worth your time and money. Lots and lots of belly laughs.

Rob: The program named the people who were "interviewed" but it didn't give any info on how the names were pulled.

Daisy: I thought of you after the show. I would have loved to have taken you.

January 29, 2010 at 4:36 PM  

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