"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 www.wheatondrama.org or 630-260-1820.
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.