Romeo and Juliet | Schreiber Playground Park | Theater & Performance | Chicago Reader
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I'd be singing the praises of Midsommer Flight's latest, an outdoor performance of Romeo and Juliet in Rogers Park, even if I weren't so admiring of its mission: to perform Shakespeare in underserved communities. Part of the thrill was the random appearance of intrigued locals not used to hearing Shakespeare in a corner lot. R & J is, of course, the classic tale of emotional extremity. Director Beth Wolf moves things along with speed and agility, cutting strategically and keeping the whole thing under two hours. The simple set (four wooden boxes that become balcony, bed, and tomb) allows the words to take center stage. The actors are uniformly strong, from bawdy scene stealers Mercutio (Julian Stroop) and Nurse (Molly Lyons) to the solid leading lovers. Brendan Hutt's Friar Lawrence had me considering the radical, subversive role of the church in devotion to love. —Suzanne Scanlon

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