Total Rating: 
****
Previews: 
May 3, 2017
Images: 
Opened: 
June 1, 2017
Ended: 
October 21, 2017
Country: 
Canada
State: 
Ontario
City: 
Stratford
Company/Producers: 
Stratford Festival of Canada
Theater Type: 
Festival; International
Theater: 
Stratford Festival of Canada - Festival Theater
Theater Address: 
55 Queen Street
Phone: 
800-567-1600
Website: 
stratfordfestival.ca
Genre: 
Drama
Author: 
William Shakespeare
Director: 
Scott Wentworth
Choreographer: 
Stephen Cota
Review: 

I don’t know what Scott Wentworth doesn’t do brilliantly in the theater, and for Stratford’s opening week this season, he has contributed a first-rate Romeo and Juliet. Perhaps the most popular, and certainly best-known Shakespeare play, Romeo and Juliet has had many Stratford productions, most recently rather problematical ones, but this is an efficiently paced, moving, and affecting one, without bizarre surprises.

There is passion between Sara Farb’s Juliet and Antoine Yared’s Romeo, as well as a good deal of playfulness to emphasize both their youth and their intelligence, but this R&J almost de-emphasizes melodrama, even making Evan Bulliung’s appealing Mercutio almost understated. The same might be said about Marion Adler’s tragic Lady Capulet and Seana McKenna’s affecting but in no way affected Nurse. I think she’s the least hammy nurse I’ve seen since a startlingly young-looking old Lillian Gish made the nurse seem more of an ingénue than her Juliet. The whole cast is very accomplished indeed; and perhaps the only overdone element is the very violent fight scenes.

The beautiful designs and lighting help the action to change focus swiftly and noticeably, and the costumes to suggest period, but also artful staging in matched patterns. I left this performance of the play with much the same artistic satisfaction I’ve felt after seeing major ballet versions of Romeo and Juliet.

Cast: 
Eric Abel, Marion Adler,Thomas Mitchell Barnet, Wayne Best, Alex Black, Jimmy Blais, Evan Bulliung, Miall Buscemi, Juan Chioran, Jim Codrington, Maxwell Croft-Fraser, Alexei Deluca, Sarah Dodd, Victor Ertmanis, Sara Farb, Deidre Gillard-Rowlings, Kim Horsman, Randy Hughson. John Kirkpatrick, Krista Leis, Jamie Mac, Katelyn McCulloch, Chad McFadden, Seana McKenna, Zlatomir Moldovanski, Nick Nahwegahbow, Oliver Neudorf, Natasha Strilchuk, Gordon Patrick White, Antoine Yared
Technical: 
Set: Christina Poddubiuk; Lighting: Louise Guinand; Music: Paul Shilton; Sound: Verne Good; Fight Director: John Stead
Critic: 
Herbert M. Simpson
Date Reviewed: 
July 2017