Sunday, February 25, 2007

Romeo & Juliet

Blue Monkey Theater Co.
Posted by Followspot February 25, 2007; closes February 25, 2007

Mixed success: Earnestly engaging with respectably direct, concise introductory performances featuring Paul Pistey’s fiesty Mercutio, Grey Pearmine’s supportive Benvolio, Matt Miller’s tender Romeo. DeeDee Remington’s couture sexed up otherwise inconsistent, artificial concepts. Insufficient, black-eye lighting. Second-half of second-act faints when it should gain strength to culminate consequences. Noisy stage, backstage.

22 comments:

Anonymous said...

What about the friar?

He was the highlight, for me.

Anonymous said...

Seriously...could you make a thread, followspot, dedicated to the Friar so we don't hog the R&J thread? Thanks!

Anonymous said...

Uh, what does THAT mean?

I swear, you people confuse me sometimes.

Anonymous said...

Seriously. Express an opinion - get bitchslapped.

Anonymous said...

Oooh...good idea. Let's have a thread dedicated to bitchslapping so we don't hog this one.

Excuse me.

It is my opinion that we should have a thread dedicated to bitchslapping so we don't hog any of the others.

(Wink)

Taylor May said...

More than any show I think I've ever seen, Blue Monkey's R&J was a fine example of how not to stage a show. Inconsistent design (especially the painfully bad sound design) and horrible staging. The only saving grace of the show was the acting, which wasn't especially that great overall with exceptions being Brian Allard's Friar and Matt Miller's Romeo.

Drake said...

To everyone here and on the Henry thread ... say what you will, but can you also add "why" -- as in, you liked this or didn't like because ...

inconsistent design: fine
horrible staging: what made it horrible? what didn't work? the tennis match neck-wranking? or something else?

Anonymous said...

Seeing Romeo and Juliet I found it a new expoloration of the modern day Shakespeare. The music, and swordplay were extravagent. I have to say that it wasn't over all a big "wow" but it was entertaining. I enjoyed the set the most...which isn't a good thing. As far as the acting goes Friair Laurence, Romeo, and the Nurse were by far the best. The Peter, however, WOW he needed to slowwww down. Along with Sampson (?) the guy with the awakward walk...was awkward over all. I'm crossing fingers for the next production of Mr.Monteverdes.

Anonymous said...

Ps...I think Blue Monkey did what they could with the stage space provided.

Taylor May said...

"Seeing Romeo and Juliet I found it a new expoloration of the modern day Shakespeare."

Yeah, it was nothing like Baz luhrmann's version....

Ps...I think Blue Monkey did what they could with the stage space provided.

It's a big, empty room. The chairs and stage can be configured in any fashion you please. It's not as if Monteverde and Co. showed up and there happened to be a gigantic runway providing horrible sightlines permanently welded to the floor....

Anonymous said...

Um, doesn't every theater "do what they can" with their stage space?

Perhaps they just didn't do it as well as they might've.

Anonymous said...

It was totally derivative...but I watch young people with a less critical eye...I thought that Matt Miller and Cameron Pert were simply delightful as the title characters...I know that at 17 and 18 years olds grasping that text and the journey those characters take they did a truly lovely job.

Keiler said...

I'm interested to see if the person who said on the Aladdin post that Cameron Peart has zero talent came to the show. I thought she was amazing, and doubt that that comment would stand if they actually saw her performance.

Anonymous said...

sufrt
Lady Capulet totally owned the shifty walk and cover-up sunglasses. The numbed drunk treatment gave her character a little extra depth and it worked with the concept.

Anonymous said...

Re: R& J: The sound was truly awful - plus if you sat anywhere near the "Montegue" side the music was so loud it was annoying and distracting. It was hard enough to discern Juliet's words at times. John has tried to go head to head with the NWCT season from what I can discern. Kirk Mouser's Beauty and the Beast had an exceptionally talented cast and every one of them could sing. If anyone saw Blue Monkey's one musical production you may want to avoid High School Musical. Neither of his leads in Alladin could sing well and the female lead (Kelsey ?) had the audience cringing in their seats. Matt Miller as Romeo showed real talent. Juliet - tried hard but couldn't match Romeo. Oh well. At least no one was singing!

Frogger said...

Interesting.

I thought Cameron was phenominal. Matt was very good as well. The two of them had real chemistry - they really clicked together.

I go to the theatre with an eye to the acting, and I was really impressed by the high schoolers. Those are some tough roles, and they did a really great job.

The Friar (Allard) and the Nurse (Bragg) impressed as well. Paul Pistey was a firebrand as Mercutio - and that isn't an easy part.

The combat scenes were very well staged. Kendall Wells - the guy who fought off multiple attackers in the opening brawl - looked like he really knew his stuff.

Personally, I thought the weakest part of the whole production was the opening scene, before the brawl - the "actors" playing Samson and Gregory should really look for a new line of work. It helps if you actually know what the words mean, guys.

Overall, a quality production. I missed "Aladdin" so I can't speak to the singing, but I look forward to anything this group puts forward in the future. A theatre company focusing on high school students - a brilliant idea!

Anonymous said...

To the poster who said that Paul Pistey was good with Mercutio...I wonder if you saw Northwest Classical Theatre Company's R&J fall 2005. Jayson Shanafelt was Mercutio in that show and tops all the Mercutios I've ever seen. Paul Pistey was nothing compared to that performance. But given the quality of Blue Monkey's overall show, Pistey was okay. He really needed to back off from all the suggestive gestures, though--very distracting.

Agreed--Brian Allard was a great friar.

Anonymous said...

To anonymous 12:28--
Yes, NWCT hired well known, talented actors who could sing, but not all of them could act or carry on their roles all that well, and the set wasn't even finished when I went to see it. It is hard to not compare Blue Monkey to NWCT, but when Monteverde picked some of the same shows or same type of shows it is hard not to compare. As far as ALADDIN goes, sure the singing wasn't that great by Glasser, but I don't think you should assume that HIGH SCHOOL MUSICAL will be the same because it's a whole different show with new people playing new characters.

I also agree with the shakey opening to Romeo and Juliet, but it got better as the show went on.

Anonymous said...

To anonymous 12:28--
Yes, NWCT hired well known, talented actors who could sing, but not all of them could act or carry on their roles all that well, and the set wasn't even finished when I went to see it. It is hard to not compare Blue Monkey to NWCT, but when Monteverde picked some of the same shows or same type of shows it is hard not to compare. As far as ALADDIN goes, sure the singing wasn't that great by Glasser, but I don't think you should assume that HIGH SCHOOL MUSICAL will be the same because it's a whole different show with new people playing new characters.

I also agree with the shakey opening to Romeo and Juliet, but it got better as the show went on.

Melissa said...

Matt Miller is one to watch.

Anonymous said...

And you can, soon.

He's appearing as Macolm in "MacBeth" at NWCTC in May.

Anonymous said...

I thought the show was pretty good overall. There were some issues with the concept being inconsistent like the costumes, set, props, etc. not always matching each other in period, theme, or style, but I saw it twice and both times I thoroughly enjoyed it as did the audience. Especially the brawl and sword fights scene, obviously a lot of time and work was put in.

Some of the acting was great and some was mediocre. Brian Allard was wonderful as the friar, probably the best in the show. I think Paul Pistey did really well and brought a lot of energy to his performance, I like the kind of Jim Morrison vibe in his character. The loveless relationship between lord and lady capulet was good. The nurse did fine and romeo and juliet were quite believable and enjoyable to watch.

The other actors were average, with a few being below average. Some spoke to fast, some mistook emotion for volume, etc.

Though it may be a different take on the play than most of us are used with some of the concepts working and some of them not, overall the the play was good and from what I hear it will be reprising the production for shakespeare in the park the summer. I plan on seeing it again.