(A review of Oklahoma Shakespeare In The Park, “Romeo & Juliet”, Running Thurs-Sat thru 9/4/10 @ Bicentennial Park, OKC) Such a task, to talk like Shakespeare spoke, understand what Shakespeare wrote and – while splashing (or in this case immersing) the story with a personal touch… Don’t forget that the audience is usually made up of people who hail from one of two “families”, either Shakespeare-philes or Curious/Confused Patrons.
It is a tough task to make Shakespeare work across the board, but after watching the first four performances of the non-traditionally staged Oklahoma Shakespeare In The Park production of the timeless “Romeo & Juliet”, Im pleased to recommend a maturing production of love, humor and meaning.
I entered with critical teeth bared, seeing such a youth-laden cast heavy in OKlahoma City University and Univ of Oklahoma talent. I expected a lack of understanding of the parts, usually cast older (despite the written ages) simply because it’s tough to pull off believable Shakespeare for inexperinced actors. But director Kathryn McGill (OSP Co-founder) has opened a window to a physical and fast-paced telling, playing to the actors’ strengths. From the opening night to the second week, the production has matured, growing into the emotional awareness the script demands.
As a reviewer I have my biases. I’ve performed in three OSP productions as an actor and I have been a board member for several years. But I am a theatre person who has grown into Shakespeare, not one who was raised in it. So I think my critical eye is fair and my opinion useful to both above mentioned groups of patrons.
Excellent fight choreography, solid ensemble performances and an attractive pairing of the lead roles add to what is the most succesful aspect of this particular production: connective energy.
Now that the hottest nights (hopefully) have passed, this
OSP production is a fun date night or family excursion. Tickets are $8/10 and there are some other discounts out there for the coupon clipping kind. Bring chairs, blankets and a basket with yummies. The temporary new location (on the Civic Center lawn while Myriad Gardens is remodeled) and I believe you’ll did OSP a fun evening, be ye Capulet or Montague.
(Brent Weber is a journalist/actor/producer writer with 30 years experience on the national and local scene.)
Link to Oklahoma Shakespeare
In The Park: