Monday, July 10, 2017

GRUNGE “ROMEO & JULIET” TO TOUR LOCAL PARKS, LIBRARIES

r and j 1

Love in the Time of Grunge
"These violent delights have violent ends, which as they kiss, consume"

The Hudson Shakespeare Company returns for the final installment in its 26th annual “Shakespeare in the Parks” tour of Northern New Jersey parks and libraries with a 1990s inspired Romeo and Juliet. [Above: Romeo (Josh Blount) and Juliet (Mackenzie Menter)]

ADMISSION: free to all shows. A lawn chair and blanket are recommended for all outdoor showings.

WHEN & WHERE: The show will be touring to the following locations:

  • Tuesday, July 11th @ 7pm
    Kenilworth Public Library, 548 Boulevard, Kenilworth, NJ 07033
  • Wednesday, July 12th @ 7pm
    Buchmuller Park – Corner of Plaza Center and Third Avenue (Rain Location) Secaucus Public Library, 1379 Paterson Plank Rd, Secaucus, NJ 07094
  • Saturday, July 15th @ 3pm
    Van Vorst Park (Rain Location Park Gazebo), Montgomery Street and Jersey Avenue, Jersey City, NJ 07302
  • Monday, July 17th @ 7pm
    522 Frank Sinatra Park, Frank Sinatra Park, Hoboken, NJ
  • Tuesday July 18th @ 7:30pm
    Fort Lee Monument Park, Palisade Ave & Angioletti Pl, Fort Lee, NJ 07024 (Rain Location – Fort Lee Library, 320 Main Street, Fort Lee, NJ
  • Thursday, July 20th @ 7pm
    Hamilton Park (9th st and Jersey Avenue) (Rain Location Park Gazebo) Jersey City, NJ 07302
  • Saturday, July 22nd @ 5pm
    Long Pond Iron Works State Park, 1334 Greenwood Lake Turnpike, NJ (Rain Location Long Pond Visitor’s Center)
  • Tuesday, July 25th @ 7:30pm
    Fort Lee Monument Park, Palisade Ave & Angioletti Pl, Fort Lee, NJ 07024 (Rain Location – Fort Lee Library, 320 Main Street, Fort Lee, NJ
  • Wednesday, July 26th @ 7:30pm
    Atlantic Street Park, 101 State Street, Hackensack NJ, Rain Location – Hackensack Cultural Arts Center
  • Thursday, July 27th @ 6:30pm
    Hoboken Public Library, 500 Park Ave, Hoboken, NJ 07030
  • Saturday July 29th @ 2pm
    Stratford Library Amphitheater, 2203 Main St, Stratford, CT 06615 (Rain Location Inside the Library’s Lovell Room)
  • Tuesday, August 1st @ 7:30pm
    Fort Lee Monument Park, Palisade Ave & Angioletti Pl, Fort Lee, NJ 07024 (Rain Location – Fort Lee Library, 320 Main Street, Fort Lee, NJ
  • Wednesday, August 2nd @ 7:30pm
    Atlantic Street Park, 101 State Street, Hackensack NJ. Rain Location – Hackensack Cultural Arts Center
  • Thursday, August 3rd @ 7pm
    Somerset County Public Library – Bridgewater, 1 Vogt Dr, Bridgewater, NJ 08807

MontaguesRomeo and Juliet by William Shakespeare is the most famous love story in the English language and has been adapted in a variety of settings from a straight Elizabethan presentation with Franco Zefferelli to a musical romp in West Side Story. It’s a story that most people think they know quite well, a story of ideal young love and perfectly matched lovers whose love is denied by their warring families and which leads to their tragic ends. However, the innocent pair of Romeo and Juliet are just the tip of the iceberg in a world filled with scheming, opportunistic parents; violent, self-destructive rebels and the true parental figures who try to keep the couple out of harm’s way. [Right: The Grungy Montagues, Mercutio, Romeo (Josh Blount), and Benvolio (Lindsay Milligan)]

In looking for a fresh interpretation of a well-known story. Director Noelle Fair wanted to look beyond a production that just focused on the lovers or their warring families and examine what drives the unstoppable hatred and violence that happens in the play. What can it say about how we treat each other today where fights can spark online or in public for little to no reason?

Director Fair wondered, “How are Romeo and Juliet meant to survive in this world where everything, everyone, and all the odds are against them?” Where it is not just a single misunderstanding or event that spurs the action but a cycle of violence that seems to have no end or beginning.

“We are passing down violence which stems from hatred and a lack of empathy from one generation to the next and its what we are leaving and teaching future generations”, said Fair.

In Shakespeare’s play no reason is given for the feud between the Capulets and Montagues. Despite the fact it has lasted for generations, the characters themselves cannot give the audience a straight answer to the question of why they are fighting. This can be a direct parallel to today’s raging political and societal conversations where one side automatically will demonize the other and argue to the point of killing, often for no sane reason.

To match the play’s cycle of hatred and how little things change from one generation to the next Fair decided to set her show in the 1990s.

“The same things we encountered in the 90's we are still dealing with today. Issues of race, gender, and sexual equality, women's rights, disability rights, refugee crisis and islamophobia were all things we encountered in those 10 years,” she said.

To set the era, the Montagues have been reimagined as grungy street kids, and Capulets as the upper class, rich elite.

Period music plays a huge role in the production from artists such as Kirk Cobain, Tupac and Biggie Smalls punctuating many of show’s scenes of brawls and violence to dance crazes such as the Macarena underscoring some of the play’s lighter moments.

“This era is marked by rebellion, teenage restlessness, and fits perfectly with this world,” Fair said.

For more information on the show, please visit www.hudsonshakespeare.com or call 973 449-7443.