If you were compelled to study “Romeo and Juliet,” your teacher probably focused on the beautifully written love scenes. Here’s Juliet, after meeting you know who.
“My bounty is as boundless as the sea, my love is deep. The more I give to thee, the more I have, for both are infinite.”
These lines sound even better under starlight, with a beautiful blue mountain lake glittering in the background. But even a lovestruck 13-year-old can’t forget that her guy is someone her male relatives would hate.
“If they do see thee, they will murder thee.”
“Alack, there lies more peril in thine eyes, than in 20 of their swords.”
Nice try, Romeo. This is a story about hasty decisions with nasty consequences. Very soon, a fight erupts and the swords come out.
Everything happens fast in this story – Romeo and Juliet meet and secretly marry, and then take their own lives when everything goes wrong. It’s as though the Fates were leading them on – a notion director Sharon Winegar reinforces by adding masked figures, wrapped in black, who appear like elegant vultures during critical scenes. This is the most straightforward and effective presentation of this play I’ve seen in several years. And remember, this is a tragedy meant be seen on stage, rather than read in an English class.
"Romeo and Juliet" plays at the Lake Tahoe Shakespeare Festival at Sand Harbor through August 18th.