Wednesday, June 20, 2007

After the Gold Rush

The difference between a gala and a party, I found out, is that you pay something like $2,500 a plate at a gala. At least that's what patrons were doing at the opening of Romeo and Juliet in Central Park last night. No thanks (impossible). But I did get dressed up -- although no matter what you wear in that kind of crowd, it never feels like enough -- and joined in on the celebrity gazing and lemonade-vodka cocktails.

The play itself is dazzling, with a rotating, bare-bones set featuring a shallow moat which every character at one point dips into, their waterlogged actions reflecting the sentiment of the moment. The trees provide a fitting canopy to the setting and the moon works well with Shakespeare's words. The acting is topnotch; the rollie-smoking, raw-mannered nurse standing out in particular. It's hard to pinpoint exactly what time period the production is going for, since Romeo has a surf dude slacker act going on, the pair meets at a flamenco-styled party, and all the costumes are a mishmash of period pieces.

But then, just as Juliet had taken the potion and the nurse came in to wake her, it started to rain. It was not just drizzling, it was pouring. They say that people watched the Globe performances rain or shine -- the show must go on -- but this is not the case in Central Park, as there was a mild tint of hysteria when the crowd bolted from its seats. Yet a group that pays $2,500 a plate is slow moving and it took a while for everybody to shuffle out of the theatre into the park. It didn't really bother me, though. The rain being the only true tragedy of the evening, I like leaving Romeo and Juliet in bliss.


Blogger Henry said...

aptly titled.

5:15 PM  

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