Marquette Wire

Doomed lovers’ story revived at Helfaer

Libby Fry

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Because of that cultural familiarity with the Bard’s most famous play — as well as the sometimes difficult nature of the language — the piece can be tough to perform well. When everyone in the audience knows exactly what’s going to happen, the actors performing need to have a freshness that will separate their performance from the rest of the pack and make the particular show a memorable one.

And it is exactly that freshness that makes the production of “Romeo and Juliet” on the mainstage of the Helfaer Theatre such a delight to watch.

The play, which is directed by Maureen Kilmurry, stars sophomore Mike Miro and senior Tricia Moody as the star-crossed lovers, and each puts forth a truly memorable performance.

Miro’s turn as Romeo is his first time performing in a mainstage production at Marquette, and his interpretation of the part leaves viewers wanting more. The intensity and honesty with which he portrays the heartsick lover is fantastic to watch.

Equally good is Moody as Juliet. Her passion for Romeo on stage is remarkable — even though viewers know the fateful end which she will meet, they hope that maybe this time it will change and they can continue to watch her performance.

While Miro and Moody are the foundation on which the show is built, their fellow actors should not be ignored. Many of the other students on stage put forth wholly real and honest performances. Senior Melissa Ebner, who plays Juliet’s nurse, is funny when she needs to be and believably serious when it’s called for. She adds a spark to the show that is much appreciated.

Seniors Emily Droll and Collin Gherty are also great in their supporting roles. Droll plays Lady Capulet, Juliet’s mother, and the emotion she puts forth when she believes her daughter has died is tremendous to watch. Gherty, who plays Friar Lawrence, is also great. His performance is subtle and he creates a persona with whom viewers can identify.

One thing that makes this production of “Romeo and Juliet” such a memorable one is the clear understanding of the script that the actors have. Shakespeare’s language is sometimes difficult to interpret at first glance, and it’s obvious that these actors worked hard to insure that they understood the dialogue they were reciting.

Also pivotal in the show’s success are the costumes, which were designed by Debra Krajec. The show is set in Verona, Italy, just prior to World War I, and the clothing worn by the actors is fantastic. Although it’s been placed in a time different than that in which it was written, such a change is not distracting to the audience, and the beautiful costumes contribute to the production.

David Krajec and Steve Covey choreographed the fight scenes for the play, and they did a good job. Although the choreography was great to watch, the emotions behind the fights being played out was sometimes lacking. In particular, when Mercutio (senior John Bobek) is slain by Tybalt (junior Alex Casper), it seems as though the actions are all performed because they’re supposed to, and not because there’s any intensity behind them. Perhaps a little more believability in that scene would have made the play a little better.

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