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Christa

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Hello, everyone. :wave: I just saw the play yesterday, and as I'm the first of us to have done so, I'm starting a thread where we can share our thoughts and gush all things Romeo & Juliet.

Warning: Orlando specific spoilers abound!!


My seat was in the center of the fifth row, Orchestra section, and perfect, in my opinion. First row is definitely neck-craning territory, the seats are very close to the stage. You may want to get a seat adjacent to the left aisle, as the cast runs from the audience onto the stage multiple times during the show. (Orlando did it at least 3 times) Now, onto the good stuff:

First off - he looks exactly like all the pictures of him I've ever seen. It's true. His face, hair, build, everything was as I imagined it would be. I must say, when he first started speaking, his voice was softer than I thought it would be. He almost was a little hoarse, it seemed. This was probably just his normal voice, but it surprised me. He sounds American for the most part, except for a few words and when he was shouting, when his British accent slips through.

Like the articles note, he does indeed make his entrance on a motorcycle. He has a helmet on with the face shield down, and when he removed it, there were catcalls and cheers! :)

You will get to see his tattoos. All of them. Yes, he IS shirtless at one point!

I thought the kissing was rather impressive. Their first kiss at the masked ball went for a good minute and a half straight, at least. Whew!

I was also impressed with the physicality of the acting. They don't stand still. There is climbing involved (I was mentally telling him to be careful)and Orlando even does a sort of flip off of Juliet's "balcony." (It looks more like a floating dock) The music and dancing at the ball were really good, too.

This really is a terrific production, even for those who aren't Orlando fans. It's a classic, well-known story modernized and brought vividly to life. If you have the time, money and means, GO SEE THIS PLAY. It's well worth it.

Christa

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Thank you for your extraordinary review of the play, Christa! :notworthy:

I must say I envy you ~ but not in a bad way.

So glad, that you´ve got the opportunity to watch it.

Must had been a very special moment to see Orlando performing live. :wub:

Fantastic to read, that you had a great time.

Cheers!

*Chinny* :)

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Thanks for sharing with us, Christa. What a glorious experience! It sounds like a fantastic production. What a treat to see Orlando up close and personal like that.

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Thank you for sharing your review and experience with us, Christa!

As far as how Orlando looks, I think that those of us who have seen him in person can agree with you in that he looks as he does in photographs, if not better! I guess I shouldn't be surprised that this is still true. But it's been a few years since the last CEOKs, so I wasn't expecting to hear this.

I am so happy to know that you enjoyed Orlando's performance, and the play itself. I really hope that it has a successful run.

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Thank you for sharing your review Christa! I am glad to know that the Pretty does not disappoint.not that I ever thought he would. :wink2: I am very excited to see this in October!

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*sigh*

What a weekend.

I have been wanting to post my review, and I have a few minutes before getting ready for dinner, so here goes.

First word.wow.

The staging was unique. The stage itself is almost barren, as you have seen in photos, but effective. With the vibrant, fast moving production, anything more would have just been in the way.

I have never seen R&J performed so naturally. As if they speak as if they are having a normal conversation. No posturing or dragging out the lines , just speaking. Sometimes I feel like the actors are making darn sure that you realize how hard they worked to memorize their lines. But not here. And the difference is refreshing and remarkable.

But my favorite part was that they embraced the humor of the play. A humor not hidden behind staid, severe deliveries. I have never laughed during any other R&J performance that I have seen. But last night I laughed and cried.

Now for the performances.

I'll stick mostly to our two leads but I must mention Nurse as well. Jayne Houdyshell was perfect. Funny, scatterbrained and touching. She even added a bit of Romeo ogling. Stretching it out to add to the humor. Purring while staring at Orlando. So cute.

Condola s gorgeous on stage. She really embraced the humor of the balcony scene. She even earned a belly laugh from the gentleman behind me. She was best in the giddy, girlish scenes. But IMO, she lost a bit in the more tragic scenes. Still wonderful to watch, though.

Now got Orlando.

He was fantastic. So natural. So at ease. Age disappeared and he became a young man in love.

He was also hilarious! His delivery was perfect. And his physicality really added to the performance. Looking back at the recent video with him performing part of the balcony scene, I realized how different he was on stage. He was so good in the video, but he was amazing on stage. Being able to move around really added to his performance.

When Romeo is with his mates, they are as stupid and funny as any other group of young men. And when he realizes that he was been banned from Verona and may never see his Juliet again he is crying. When he is raging about his punishment, the tears start to fall. Both onstage and off. I was close enough to see the tears welling in his eyes. He seemed to be in so much pain that my tears started as well. After that speech, the older gentleman beside me said "wow". I know that was my reaction, but to hear it from a non-fan really confirmed that I wasn't imaging things. Orlando is an amazing actor. Period.

Go see this if you can. I would have loved the chance to see this again. But I have some great memories.

Oh, and to the ladies who plan on going, but have yet to buy your tickets.get as close to the left aisle as you can. But try to resist the temptation to grab. Just saying.

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Thanks so much for your review, Karen. Lovingly written, as I expected.

I would love to see it, but alas, it is not to be. But reading your review, I feel like I have seen it.

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Thanks for sharing Karen and Christa. It sounds so wonderful. Wishing I could be there.

Aliza

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Oh Karen, thank you. Reading your review, particularly the part about Romeo crying, made me a little emotional. Wonderful. I am so glad that you were able to see Orlando perform on stage as Romeo.

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My goodness.

I should.know better than to not proof read before I post. Redundant language and bothersom autocorrect, but oh well.

Did the sense that I enjoyed the play immensely come across? :lol:

I also wanted to add that it was great seeing Orlando ad lib out of live production foibles and other physical acts that would have cost a less comfortable actor his concentration.

There are large, helium balloons in the 'feast' section where Romeo first sees Juliet. Some are held, and some are weighted. I'm not 100% sure that it was a mistake, but at one point a weighted ballon gets caught on Orlando's foot. Instead if just kicking it off, he takes it, and throws it away, dropping it on a beat within his speech. Maybe someone else who saw the play can tell whether or not that was a mistake. Earlier, one of his mates had tied a ballon to his shoe, which is why I'm not really sure if it was a true mistake.

Also, his bike sputtered when he restarted it to exit after his first scene. He even crossed his fingers before he started it. Conrad Kemp ad libbed through that really well.

And then there's the feather. A feather falls from above just as Romeo is re-entering the stage. The timing is perfect, and he reaches center stage just as it falls into his hand. He then plays with it during a speech. Balancing it on the back of his hand, then catching it on the back of his other hand as it falls. Over and over again. If I had to do something like that I wouldn't even be able to tell you my name, much less spout Shakespeare. :)

He was amazing. And I haven't even mentioned his shirtless scene. :dbb:

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I love hearing these marvelous little tidbits. There is nothing like live theatre ... and even more so when Orlando is involved.

Thanks so much, Karen.

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Oh wow! :w00t: Thank you so much Karen and Christa for sharing your reviews with us and I am happy to know you had a great time. I am not surprised about Orlando's performance, I already knew he would be amazing and reading about the scene where he cries I couldn't help it but cry myself. I also love reading about the little things that happened like the balloon and the feather falling on Orlando's hand, that is definitely true talent when they ad lib with perfection like that. :heart:

How I wish I could see Orlando in person but alas I don't have the money to go but reading your reviews I felt like I was there watching Orlando with you. :hug:

Kim

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Cayenne and Christa, thank you so much for your wonderful reviews. I can get a feeling of what being there was like, almost. Cayenne, I loved hearing of the "Wow" comment from the older gentleman, and that even with the occasional missed cue, the play went smoothly.
I'll be playing your reviews over in my head and trying to visualize the scenes you described for some time to come.
Oh, I would love so much to see it.

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Terrific review, Cayenne, and yes, it came across how much you enjoyed it!

(Beam me across the Atlantic, Scotty! Alas, I'm only daydreaming.)

:wave:

Raven

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Cayenne, thank you for your review. :hug: I enjoyed reading all your words, autocorrect and all. :) I'm glad to know that other audience members now know what we already knew, how great of an actor he is. I can't wait to see this a week and 1/2! :O

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Cayenne, you wrote a great review, touching on so many points that I didn't. :thumbsup: I'm glad you enjoyed it - a life-altering experience, wouldn't you say?

In regard to the mishaps you mentioned, I don't remember him having any problems with the bike when I saw it. I clearly remember the balloon tied to his shoe, and I'm pretty sure he also had a free one that he dropped on cue. I didn't quite remember the feather, but I asked my mom (we went together) and she remembered it.

Hmmm. Now I'm sad that I'm already losing the details. :pout: I can still see and hear Romeo clearly in my head, and that's what counts, right? :sigh:

Christa

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Wow Christa and Cayenne-fabulous reviews. I am sadly a Shakespeare novice and I really want to go see this. I need to sell something and I'm going to drag my son and daughter in law. They would benefit from this as would I.

Thank you again and Thank you Orlando!

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I am conflicted. . . First I am SO happy for both of you, Christa and Karen, for getting to see the play (and our wonderful Orlando) LIVE. :cheer2:

Second, I am SO jealous that it was not me in that theatre. :cry: I SWEAR, if it has to be on my Bucket List, I WILL get to see Orlando in person at least ONCE.. someday. :pout:

Thank you, both, for your wonderful reviews. I really appreciate you taking the time to write them for all of us to enjoy. :shiny:

- Pam -

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Hello everyone!

Well, I’m not very good at writing reviews but I would like to share with you some impressions of the play. I went to see “Romeo and Juliet” last Saturday (to the afternoon show), and I loved it! I was certain I would actually, and I really did! I had read the play in the past and seen other performances, this was very different in terms of the costumes and the setting, as we all know, but it worked very well for me. The stage was pretty bare but I found the staging very interesting, and it made me focus more on what’s really important, the acting and the lines, the beautiful poetry and prose of Shakespeare.

I really liked Orlando’s performance. His voice was clear, with volume and perfect enunciation and I really enjoyed it. I was sitting on the mezzanine, second row, so I was not very close to the stage but I had a great view and his voice carried perfectly (which did not happen with all the actors in my opinion, but it might have also been the fact that English is not my native language and I have difficulty understanding Shakespeare’s language sometimes). Of the other actors I especially enjoyed Mercutio’s performance, he was amusing and energetic, and Juliet’s father too. And the fighting scenes were very good too. I found myself laughing at times, and I have to admit, crying a bit too… The parts that were most moving for me where the marriage scene, with the fire and the candle and Romeo and Juliet kneeling, the end of the play, in the tomb, and Juliet’s speech while she’s on the swing, waiting for Romeo to come to her, which is a beautiful speech. Shakespeare’s use of words and images is so amazing!

I had made plans to meet with Sunstar, Jackie, Anar and Julie when the play finished and Jackie found me in the midst of the people coming out of the theatre and helped me find a good spot from where to watch the stage door. We waited a little and finally Orlando showed up and started to sign the programs and walk from one end of the railing to the next, always with a guard at his side. He was really gracious to everyone. He was as handsome and luminous as ever. I was really lucky to be able to see him from up close, but did not give him my program to sign, I really never thought about it, I was just happy to watch him for a few minutes. And then he went back inside, and the ka-bloomies and I took some photos and chatted and walked a few blocks to a place by “Bryant Park” to have something to eat and continue chatting. It was so wonderful to see them!! My bus back to Washington was leaving at 7:00 pm so I had to hurry and I left the restaurant before them. It was a long day for me, since I had taken the bus to New York at 7:45 am that morning, but totally worth it! Great day and great fun! Thank you ka-bloomies, for helping to make it so special!!

Edited by Jupiter
Formatting fixed

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Oh.. I'm so sorry my post came out with such a big font and space between the lines... I must have done something wrong, I apologize!

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Marina, no worries about how your post came out. Thanks for sharing your impressions with us. Not only did you see Orlando but you were part of a ka-Bloomie meet up. How fun that must have been! You got to see him on stage as well as getting an up close glimpse of him when he came outside to greet the fans. A long day for you, but a very rewarding one!

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Marina, thank you for posting your review of Romeo and Juliet. It's a true joy to read everyones thoughts on the play, and makes it easier to visualize it in my head. .
I'm happy you had a meet up with others even if it was a short one. I think I can understand how you felt while just standing outside with the crowd and watching Orlando greeting fans and signing autographs. That would be more than enough for me.

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