Imagine a world where Juliet goes on to survive after Romeo. What lessons would she have learned in her life about controlling her own destiny? Standing up to her parents? Or throwing it all away for the one she thought she loved? Even William Shakespeare himself must face the Music (thankfully for us, a Soundtrack of Pop Icon Max Martin‘s Greatest Hits) in Mirvish Productions’ & JULIET, against values like equality and inclusion of today.
Toronto is extremely lucky to get to enjoy a run of this phenomenal new Musical, as it continues its extended run in London’s West End currently. Playing at Princess of Wales Theatre till August 14, 2022, & JULIET with its current Cast, will head straight to Broadway.
Emmy-winning Schitt’s Creek Writer David West Read pens the Play, which speaks to an audience of today, bringing pure, blissful joy. Telling its story of Juliet‘s liberation and a catalogue of songs which defined and continue to define an era, it is impossible not to walk away feeling uplifted.
& JULET is empowering, wild and full of heart. Not to mention some outstanding performances from the likes of Broadway veteran Betsy Wolfe (Waitress, The Last Five Years) as William Shakespeare‘s wife Anne Hathaway, Justin David Sullivan as the non-binary May, Melanie La Barrie as Juliet‘s confidante Nurse, and up-and-comer Lorna Courtney in the starring role of Juliet. West Read‘s smart writing, delicately yet at once brazenly approaches angles not pondered by Shakespeare when it comes to asking what his female characters wanted,that the world contained more than just white people and that same sex love existed.
So seamlessly and brilliantly is this Soundtrack interweaved into the story line. Case in point, Bon Jovi‘s “It’s My Life” contains a line “Like Frankie said, I did it my way” and a character, Frankie (Philippe Arroyo) randomly comes out and does the line. Pure genius.
The level of detail is astounding and visually, it is like a Pop Concert-meets-Shakespeare-meets-Moulin Rouge with a relentless energy throughout this two-and-a-half-hour runtime, plus intermission.
& JULIET is invigorating and the perfect lift in spirits we needed this Summer with a huge potential to crossover as Pop Culture phenomenon. More on tickets here.
Some Snaps with the Cast:
Lorna Courtney – Juliet
Betsy Wolfe – Anne Hathaway (…not that one!)
Stark Sands – WIlliam Shakespeare
Melanie La Barrie – Nurse
Paulo Szot – Lance
Benjamin Jackson Walker – Romeo
Justin David Sullivan – May
Philippe Arroyo – Francois (Frankie)
Katy Geraghty – Lucy
Nicholas Edwards – Lord Capulet
Bobby Horner – Rumour
We were so lucky to meet Max Martin, in-town recently for the Musical. More here.