Josh Carpenter and Brandi Rhome play the title characters and both turn in wonderful performances. Carpenter has taken the Hero role that Luke Eddy so capably handled last year and he does a good job as Romeo. Rhome always turns in solid performances and this is no exception. She is very convincing as things move from bad to worse to desperate as the play unfolds. There is no need for me to recap the plot of this well-known tale. All I can say is it's a must-see production. Besides Carpenter and Rhome, standouts include Ginna Hoben (she's definitely at the top of her game this season and it's going to be wonderful seeing her in residency this summer/fall) as the Nurse; Curt Foy as one of Shakespeare's greatest characters in Mercutio; Dennis Henry as Friar Lawrence, and Rick Blunt in a more dramatic role than I am used to seeing him. His performance when he tells Juliet she must marry County Paris and his performance during the final scene are riveting. I would really love to see Rick get a lead role in something like Macbeth. He is a very intense performer and very energetic. I think he'd do a fantastic job.
The musical selections for the pre-show and interlude were fantastic, and Joseph Rende kind of blew me away on his guitar work. The fight action in this production is terrific as well.
Josh Carpenter as Romeo and Brandi Rhome as Juliet in Romeo and Juliet. Photo by Mike Bailey.