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L.A. Beat

Shakespeare in the Park ’s Romeo and Juliet brings out the humour in tragedy

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Shakespeare in the Park’s performance of Shakespeare’s well known tragedy Romeo and Juliet is a great way to spend a sunny Thursday and Friday evening in Galt Gardens.Romeo ( Garrett Bishoff) discovers Juliet (Emily Klink). Photo by Richard Amery

 While the tragic storRomeo and Tybalt fight. Photo by Richard Ameryy of two star-crossed lovers is very sad, Shakespeare in the park brings out a lot of the humour as well, in part thanks to members of local improv troupe the Drama Nutz.

 Erica Barr almost steals the show as Juliet’s nurse, showing a range of emotions and feeling from knee slapping hilarity to heartfelt tragedy.

 And Brandon Eyck makes an impression as the frenetic Paris who is decreed to marry Juliet by her father played aptly by John Bowers.

 But as expected the star-crossed lovers Romeo played by Garrett Bishoff and enthusiastic newcomer , Chinook High school student Emily Klink who shines as Juliet, are both highlights of the production.

Chris Peterson is always a treat to watch and is again in Romeo and Juliet as well, as the provocateur Mercutio, conveying an array of emotions, humour as well as vicious insanity.Shakespeare in the Park is performing Romeo and juliet. Photo by Richard Amery

 This production is set in contemporary Italy, so it is unusual to see a Shakespearian tragedy play out without swordplay.

Despite that, the fight scenes are well choreographed, and even more brutal considering most of the deaths are the result of beatings other than cuttings, other than the poisonings.

 I’m impressed by how well the talented cast under the tutelage of director DJ Gellatly bring out the humourous moments in the play, while never taking away form the heart-string pulling dramatic moments.

Cole Fetting and Chris Peterson in Romeo and Juliet. Photo by Richard Amery
 Spending your Thursday and Friday night in Galt Gardens with Shakespeare in the Park and Romeo and Juliet is definitely time well spent.

 Romeo and Juliet runs in Galt Gardens, July 28,29, Aug 3-5 and 10-12 at 7 p.m each night plus a matinee at 2 p.m. at Casa, Aug. 6.

Erica Barr and Garrett Bishoff in Romeo and Juliet. photo by Richard Amery— By Richard Amery, L.A. Beat Editor
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