Sep 30 2013
My book launch events this weekend went really well, I think. Of special note was the event at Porter Square Books, where I did a slideshow illustrating the development of the concepts and designs for my R&J, and showed pages from the book, highlighting a few of my favorite passages. When I got the balcony scene, two teenagers who were “planted” among the audience popped up and surprised everyone (else) with a really beautiful live performance of the scene. They were Frank and Natasha, two talented young actors who recently starred in Actor’s Shakespeare Project’s Youth Program production of R&J. I want to thank them again for doing such a fantastic job — and also ASP resident actor Mara Sidmore, for working with them, helping to figure out the cuing and blocking, playing Mercutio and the Nurse, and generally helping make it all work really smoothly. Thanks also to David and Carol at Porter Square Books, and Adele and Allyn at ASP, who all helped to arrange the whole thing.
Readers of this blog will already be familiar with ASP from the sketches I’ve been doing at their dress rehearsals for several years. I love this group! I am thrilled to report that, by happy coincidence, they are staging Romeo & Juliet starting this week at the Strand theater in Dorchester, and besides participating in my launch party they are also going to be selling my book at their concession stand. I got to sit on the end of a tech rehearsal Sunday night, and it looks excellent. (I’ll be posting a couple of sketches from that in the next day or two.)
Like I said, it’s a wonderful coincidence that they’re doing the show now. But they aren’t the only ones! For those who may not be aware, there are several other high-profile stagings of R&J this month on the East Coast. Orlando Bloom and Condola Rashad star in a Broadway production that has tons of buzz. Competing with them off-Broadway is this production with Elizabeth Olsen. And here in my new hometown, The Folger Shakespeare Library has a production starting in two weeks.
Then there’s this new R&J film, which may be good or truly terrible, and which may or may not be in theaters near you next week.
(Or perhaps you’d prefer this lesbian Romeo & Juliet starting next week in Philly?)
I mean, come on, it’s a Romeo & Juliet bonanza! If you live in one of those cities, grab some tickets!