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Verona in Harrisburg

Updated on July 2, 2013

Gamut Theater Presents--Romeo and Juliet

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The Program "Two families--alike in dignity. . . " Praying for Peace Benevolio Tends his Wounds Juliet and Her Nurse A First Kiss"Wherefore art thou. . . "The Fatal Thrust
The Program
The Program | Source
"Two families--alike in dignity. . . "
"Two families--alike in dignity. . . " | Source
Praying for Peace
Praying for Peace | Source
Benevolio Tends his Wounds
Benevolio Tends his Wounds | Source
Juliet and Her Nurse
Juliet and Her Nurse | Source
A First Kiss
A First Kiss | Source
"Wherefore art thou. . . "
"Wherefore art thou. . . " | Source
The Fatal Thrust
The Fatal Thrust | Source

Star-Crossed Lovers--Under The Stars

Many of us read, and a few of us may have performed Shakespeare's tragedy Romeo and Juliet. The play has spawned derivatives like West Side Story and inspired popular songs.

So it was interesting, nearly 20 years after reading and watching it in high school, to see the way Harrisburg's Gamut Theater put the play on. They used 1917 New Orleans as the backdrop, which continues the company's tradition of putting a unique spin on the classics. They performed a version of Love's Labor Lost where the costumes and music were out of a 1980's 'brat pack' movie.

The story is familiar to most; amid the feud between the Montagues and the Capulets, the two star-crossed lovers Romeo and Juliet meet, fall in love and end up committing suicide. One possibly unique take was that Romeo was African-American, while Juliet was Caucasian.

There were some things about the play that had never picked up on when it was part of my Freshman English. For one, Shakespeare was a master of double entendre, many of his lines and phrases could have sexual connotations. The first two-thirds of the play are actually more of a romantic comedy. There may even be a desire to end the feud, lest we forget that it is at a ball thrown by the Capulets, that Romeo and some Montagues are invited to, that Romeo and Juliet meet.

But some people cannot, or do not want to see the feud end. Tybalt, Juliet's Cousin and Mercutio, Romeo's cousin, seem to thrive off the feud. It is only after Romeo kills Tybalt in revenge for his killing of Mercutio, that they play spirals into tragedy. Romeo is banished to Mantua and Juliet is forced into a marriage. The two lovers plan a desperate escape, that in the end leads to their mutual end.

But their deaths are not in vain, as the death of Romeo and Juliet seem to be the final blood shed in the feud.

The actors handled the choreography of both the dance moves and the stage combat well and the music matched the time and place perfectly. I only hope that the company can find a sponsor to keep productions like up.

Love Story--Taylor Swift

Nothing Broken But My Heart--Celine Dion

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