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Romeo & Juliet

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Romeo and Juliet…Where do I begin-I laughed, I cried, and I was enthralled. I love when Ballet Arizona does story ballets. The emotions were so intense. I went to the Matinee and unfortunately only got to see one cast, but it was phenomenal. This is really the show for everyone it has love, Swordfights, passion and tragedy.

Ross Clarke was Romeo and was better than I expected. The best show for him yet. If you remember my Nutcracker review of him I was fairly harsh. His posture and shoulders did not bother me during this show, still his performance not all that memorable. Juliet was played by Tzu-Chia Huang. She may not look like the typical Juliet up close but she was fabulous. Her lines were beautiful. I was thrilled with her skill and spirit.

I thought the sets were once again amazing. And I loved how the costumes differentiated between the Montagues and the Capulets. I thought the costumes could have been a little more opulent, the corps’ costumes were especially dull. It looks like they may have pulled these from another ballet, they seemed generic and unfitting.

Mercutio was played by Roman Zavarov and Benvolio by Slawomir Wozniak. They were quite the pair. Their technique and leg lines were nothing shy of perfect. I asked to see them together in my last review and I got it! Zavarov was sly and cunning and hilarious. And he had quite the harem. Wozniak was also funny and likeable with a following himself. The three courtesans were over the top in a good way. My eyes welled up with tears when Mercutio was slain. Zavarov made it easy to connect with his character.

Tybalt was played by Astrit Zejnati and I know he would have made a great Romeo, but he appeared to have been worn out from the weekend. His performance was decent and strong but this show was not his typical extraordinary self. I remember him sneaking partially behind the sets spying on Romeo without his mask in the first act-this was brilliant choreography and set design.

The nurse was played by Carolyn Reardon, her character was humorous. I loved when Romeo’s friends taunted her.

The balcony scene was everything it should have been, tender and sweet.

The corps were all very good. I loved the scenes at the marketplace, where they were playing street vendors and buying each other’s goods. In act two scene one when they are all dancing the choreography was a bit bland for my taste.

The wedding was strange and funny. Russell Clarke played Friar Laurence and really hit the nail on the head here. The innocence and the love the couple had for each other was uplifting and really showed the couples acting ability.

Friar Laurence gives Juliet the vial of sleeping potion, and explains how it works to Juliet via the faux Romeo and Juliet in the spotlight, was inventive and unexpected.

When Lady Capulet believes Juliet to be dead the tears started falling. The family funeral followed by Romeo stabbing himself, believing that Juliet was gone was intensely emotional for me. By the time Juliet awoke to find her husband had committed suicide there was audible sobbing in the audience. Her frantic pain was too much to bear. The end of the ballet brought everyone to their feet roaring and applauding. It was all so dramatic and beautiful. I was overwhelmed with so many different feelings. I wiped eyes and smiled to myself, slightly embarrassed that my mascara may have run but mostly I was just extremely pleased with the show.

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