The Stranger reviews Romeo and Juliet

Romeo and Juliet at Arts on the Waterfront

by Anna Minard           www.artsonthewaterfront.com/press

ROMEO AND JULIET Stripped-down, ridiculous, and wickedly entertaining.

Waterfront Park                                       Fri-Sun at 7 pm. Through July

Down on the waterfront, right next to the aquarium, in the shadow of a Ferris wheel, you can see a two-person Romeo and Juliet for free. Mickey Rowe and Laurie Roberts, two young local actors, have adapted the play in a sweet and sometimes ingenious way—she plays Mercutio to his Romeo, he the Nurse to her Juliet. Some moments are ridiculous but wickedly entertaining, as when Roberts plays Tybalt and kills herself as Mercutio (it sounds confusing, but it works). The costume and prop and quick-change creativity is half the fun: They rig an umbrella to rain on itself with a water bottle on the tip and use an empty jacket and hat that stand in for Friar Laurence, each actor inserting one arm into each sleeve to animate it. The other props are water balloons and a pair of ladders, some milk crates, and a janky wig. Their website credits the lighting design to “the city of Seattle and sunset.”

Roberts’s Mercutio is guffawing and blustery and very funny, all limbs and leans and sneers. Rowe’s dorkily twitterpated Romeo makes just enough fun of the character’s schoolboy crush to turn down the play’s maudlin factor, which has overwhelmed other productions. It’s not perfect (the acoustics are poor, and the actors have to shout nearly every line), but it’s remarkably better than what you might expect when you approach the few rows of chairs lined up in Waterfront Park. The audience seems to be a combination of people there deliberately and people who stumbled over it. There’s an art show beforehand, live cello accompaniment by Brandon Smith, and more live music after every show. And Ivar’s down the street has a rewarding happy hour every day of the week that runs until closing time.

Advertisements

About Mickey Rowe

Mickey Rowe is a graduate of the National Theater Institute at the Eugene O’Neill Theater Center (the 2010 Tony winner for regional theater) and a graduate of the University of Washington. Mickey has performed in eight productions with the Seattle Opera: Barber of Seville, Billy Budd, Tosca, Fallstaff, Turn of the Screw, Der Rosenkavalier, La Boheme, and I Puritani, four with the Seattle Children’s Theater, the second largest professional theater for young audiences in the country, The Cat in the Hat, The Wizard of Oz, Night of the Living Dead, and High School Musical, and has collaborated on and performed in world premiere productions at the Edinburgh International Festival Fringe and with the Washington Ensemble Theater. Mickey is a skilled stilt walker, unicyclest, juggler, tight rope walker, fire breather, and trained puppeteer with extensive stage combat experience. Mickey’s directing and acting work can also be seen at Arts on the Waterfront.
This entry was posted in Uncategorized. Bookmark the permalink.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s