Shakespeare in the Park - 2018
Forest Park, St. Louis

Romeo and Juliet

Ran June 1 - 24, 2018

Reviewed by Isabelle Heidbreder

If Shakespeare is one of England’s National treasures, Shakespeare in the Park in Forest Park is certainly one of St. Louis’ cultural highlights.

In the history of the world, there are only 4 or 5 basic stories that keep repeating themselves. Romeo and Juliet is one of them; West Side Story, Moulin Rouge, La Traviata are but a few of the variations that are all versions of the same tale of young love "gone bad."

I love that the 2018 Shakespeare in the Park rendition is so atemporal: all actors being dressed in different styles and attitudes of attire… matching their characters' personalities, perhaps? Street-wise for Romeo, ingenue for Juliet, high society for her mother, “out-there” for the nurse… reminding us all that the play is as old as time and timeless in the same breath.

The same can be said for the set: clocktower with jumbled numbers, phases of the moon, Frida Kahlo-esque flowers, etc.

The live music was expressly written for the St. Louis play and builds the magic via mournful sounds of the narrator’s accordion. The New Orleans-inspired funerals of Tybalt and Juliet add an element of geographic variability… the story could take place anywhere.

The cast is very solid and a pleasure to watch. Director Elena Araoz did an outstanding job on her debut in St. Louis! Visit the website for details about the cast and crew:


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