By SUBURBAN LIFE MEDIA comp:000049183ad5:000000023d:5016 new
The tougher side of "Romeo & Juliet" at Wheaton Drama is the Montague/Capulet feud. Balthasar (played by Dan Stromquist, from left), Young Montague (Jake Walker), Abraham (John Trygstad), Mercutio (Andrew Trygstad), Benvolia (Lynda Wellhausen) and Romeo (Garrett Ard) face off against Gloria (Katheryn Pucillo), William (Danny Weber), Tybalt (Eric Waddick) and Sampson (Eric Faler). (Photo provided by Steven Merkel)

"Romeo and Juliet" set in modern-day New Orleans provides a gritty, rock-and-roll fueled take on Shakespeare’s tragedy. The Wheaton Drama production plays this weekend and next, closing July 7.

While the classic language is retained, the adaptation has a shortened running time, and women inhabit several roles traditionally played by men, adding a twist. Wheaton Drama's Summer Studio Show contains mature themes.

It's directed by Jeni Dees, assisted by Jo-Ann Ledger, who note it's an accessible way for audiences to experience the passion and drama of the star-crossed lovers.

The characters and actors are Lady Capulet - Trish Ambrosio; Romeo - Garrett Ard; Sampson - Eric Faler; Rosaline -  Emma Gotter; Paris - Phoenix Heart; Friar Laurence - James Hill; Friend to Juliet/Street Performer - Katie Kanturek; Police Officer/Street Performer - Emily Karnick; Fortune Teller - Jessica Keith; Capulet - Rod Kelly; Nurse - Kathy Martin; Gloria - Katheryn Pucillo; Peter/Police Officer/Street Performer - Ish Rios; Balthasar - Dan Stromquist; Mercutio - Andrew Trygstad; Abraham - John Trygstad; Montague - Tom Viskocil; Prince/Mayor  - Sharon Voss; Tybalt - Eric Waddick; Young Montague - Jake Walker; William - Danny Weber; Benvolia - Lynda Wellhausen; Juliet - Nikki Wilson; and Lady Montague - Leah Rae Witt.

Jackie Haiser is production manager, while Katie Lawrence and Katheryn Pucillo are the fight choreographers. Stage management is by Jackie Haiser and Katie Lawrence.

The air-conditioned Playhouse 111 is at 111 N. Hale St., Wheaton. Curtain is at 3 p.m. Sundays and at 8 p.m. Friday and Saturdays from now to July 7. Tickets cost $10. For more information, contact or 630-260-1820.

Next season

Wheaton Drama’s 2013-14 season includes "Lend Me a Tenor," "Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat," "And Then There Were None (Ten Little Indians)", "Steel Magnolias" and "The Music Man." Additional shows include "Broadway Gems: Musicals You Might Have Missed, a musical cabaret performed as a summer fundraiser Aug. 9 to 11, and "It's A Wonderful Life - Radio Show" as a holiday fundraiser later this year.