Romeo & Juliet by Lovers & Madmen coming to Levitt Pavilion

Romeo & Juliet - Lovers and Madmen

Lovers & Madmen Productions present
Romeo & Juliet
October 8 – 23, 2016
Saturdays and Sundays at 4pm
Levitt Pavilion in Pasadena
Admission is “pay what you can”
For more information go to


Romeo & Juliet: Pokéman Go! with The Actors’ Gang

Romeo and Juliet Pokeman Go

The Actors’ Gang invites you to its 10th Annual Free Shakespeare-in-the-Park for families, Saturdays and Sundays at 11:00 am. Bring your picnic, bring the kids, and come on down to Media Park in Culver City for a great time with Romeo & Juliet: Pokémon Go! Parking is free for the first hour in the Ince Lot (above Trader Joe’s) and $1/30 minutes thereafter.

Review: Romeo and Juliet through the Lens of the Middle East by way of Topanga Canyon

Romeo and Juliet - Theatricum Botanicum

Judy Durkin and Shaun Taylor-Corbett. All photos by Miriam Geer

Not even a wall can keep these lovers apart.

This particular wall happens to be in modern-day East Jerusalem and as Theatricum Botanicum’s production of Romeo and Juliet commences, chaos ignites at a checkpoint that divides Israel and Palestine. It is a city that has seen struggle for thousands of years and for one Muslim boy named Romeo and one Jewish girl named Juliet, not even their innocence can change the course of this story.

Following a prologue that ominously shakes its finger at what’s to come, director Ellen Geer’s opening sequence flashes to life in a rush of sound and movement. I could feel my heart start to race as the briskly choreographed fight scene reached its pivotal high point. Geer’s production wastes no time in defining the stakes of this all too real world and the intensity of fight choreographer Aaron Hendry’s skirmishes pulse like a pressure cooker as pent-up emotions erupt again and again.

The show connects on a visceral level because the Middle East’s ongoing crisis, though half a world away, still has repercussions in our own back yard. Local actions have global consequences and, until we accept that we all bear the burden of that responsibility, peace will remain elusive and loss is inevitable. The Capulets and Montagues show us how devastating that loss can be.

Sierra Madre Shakespeare Festival Presents 2nd Season of Summer Classics

Sierra Shakes

Sierra Shakes in action

Sierra Madre Shakespeare Festival returns to Sierra Madre Memorial Park for its second season of Shakespeare under the stars. The season will feature two classics – one comedy and one tragedy – now through August 13. Romeo and Juliet is currently running through July 16 and Twelfth Night will open July 21 and continue through August 13. All performances are free so bring the family, a blanket, and a picnic and you’ll be set for a lovely summer night.

“We are thrilled to be returning to Sierra Madre with two different plays and nearly 20 performances,” says artistic director Devon Armstrong. “The audiences were tremendous last year, and we can only hope that they enjoyed the shows as much as the cast did. We are proud to offer these performances in a co-sponsorship with the City of Sierra Madre and with the support of the Sierra Madre Community Foundation.”

Following the performances in Sierra Madre, the company will move to its downtown location at the historic Pico House for an additional five performances of Twelfth Night.

Sierra Shakes

June 23 – July 16, 2016
7:30 pm
Sierra Madre Memorial Park
July 21 – August 13, 2016
7:30 pm
Sierra Madre Memorial Park
222 W. Sierra Madre Blvd., Sierra Madre, CA, 91024.
Performances are Free and there is Free Street Parking

August 19, 20, 21, 24 & 26, 2016
7:30 pm
Pico House
424 N. Main Street
Downtown Los Angeles, CA 90012

Kenneth Branagh and Rob Ashford’s ROMEO AND JULIET Comes to the Big Screen

Kenneth Branagh’s new version of Romeo and Juliet is coming to the big screen for one night only, July 7 at 7:30 pm. Presented by Fathom Events, Picturehouse Entertainment, and the Kenneth Branagh Theatre Company in select cinemas, this modern take on Shakespeare’s classic love story will be shown in high-definition black and white and reunites the stars of Branagh and Rob Ashford’s film Cinderella, Richard Madden and Lily James, who play Romeo and Juliet. It also stars Derek Jacobi as Mercutio and Meera Syal as The Nurse.

Thursday, July 7, 2016
7:30 pm (local time)
Run Time: 2 hours 45 minutes (with one intermission)
Tickets and More Info

Shakespeare at the Bowl (Plus a discount on tickets!)

Shakespeare at the Bowl
Summer Shakespeare under the stars? In Hollywood that can only mean that it’s time for Shakespeare at the Bowl — two performances only, August 30 and September 1, at the Hollywood Bowl. On these joyous evenings, actors from Shakespeare’s Globe Theatre will perform classic scenes from the playwright’s best works, directed by Iqbal Khan, adapted by the Globe’s music director, Bill Barclay.

Bramwell Tovey conducts the Los Angeles Philharmonic in a program that includes:

KORNGOLD: Much Ado About Nothing Suite, Op 11
SCHMITT: Antoine et Cleopatre Suite No. 1
BERLIOZ: Roméo et Juliette: Queen Mab Scherzo
TCHAIKOVSKY: Romeo and Juliet, Fantasy Overture

Our friends at the Bowl have also got a great deal for you on tickets. Get 20% off with the exclusive discount code SHAKESPEARE! Tickets are available now at Shakespeare at the Bowl.

Theatricum Botanicum kicks off summer w/ Romeo and Juliet set in East Jerusalem

Sean Taylor-Corbett and Durkin. Photo credit: Ian Flanders

Shaun Taylor-Corbett and Judy Durkin. Photo credit: Ian Flanders

Theatricum Botanium kicks off its summer season with Shakespeare’s Romeo and Juliet set in East Jerusalem on June 4. Directed by Ellen Geer, the production will highlight the play’s continued relevance for today’s audience setting Shakespeare’s story of forbidden love and warring families in a city beset by age-old prejudices, street violence and religious differences.

Romeo and Juliet has been retold many times before with a myriad of backdrops, proving each time that it continues to resonate regardless of time or place,” says Geer. “We place the story in a city currently divided by political and cultural strife. The lovers are able to see beyond the narrow scope of the world in which they live and find each other in spite of it all.”

Shaun Taylor-Corbett (2nd national tour, Jersey Boys) and Judy Durkin (Jean Fordham in last season’s August: Osage County) star as Romeo and Juliet. The cast will also include Alan Blumenfeld (Capulet), Jonathan Bray (Prince Escalus), Rav Val Denegro (Mercutio), Steven B. Green (Friar Lawrence, renamed “Mufti Zaman”), Melora Marshall (Juliet’s nurse), Karen Reed (“Geveret” Capulet), and Taylor Jackson Ross (Tybalt).

Also featured are Kamran Abbassian, Kate Adams, Claire Andrew, Clayton Cook, Julia Finch, Steve Fisher, Kevin Hudnell, Nima Jafari, Israel Lopez, Celia Mandela, Victoria Yvonne Martinez, Kelvin Morales, Daniel Ramirez, Mark Samet, Gray Schierholt, Alexander Sheldon, Celina Lee Surniak and Lane Wray.

Original music and sound design are by Marshall McDaniel, costume design is by Beth Glasner, and lighting design is by Zach Moore.

June 4 – October 2, 2016
Theatricum Botanicum
1419 North Topanga Canyon Blvd. in Topanga
Tickets: 310-455-3723 or
Tickets range from $10-$38.50; children 4 and under are free.
The outdoor amphitheater at Will Geer’s Theatricum Botanicum is terraced into the hillside of the rustic canyon. Audience members are advised to dress casually (warmly for evenings) and bring cushions for bench seating. Snacks are available for purchase, and picnickers are welcome before and after the performance.

Theatricum Botanicum Announces 2016 Summer Season

Theatricum 2016 seasonIn 2016 we celebrate the 400th anniversary of William Shakespeare’s death and, in Topanga Canyon, Will Geer’s Theatricum Botanicum will feature three of Shakespeare’s classics as part of its upcoming summer season. Romeo and Juliet, Titus Andronicus, and the company’s signature production of A Midsummer Night’s Dream will join Tom, a world premiere adaptation with music and The Imaginary Invalid for another spectacular season outdoor under the oaks.

Here is the complete season which has been chosen to shine a light on current social issues both timely and significant in this important election year. The company will examine:

The Middle East through the lens of Shakespeare:
The repertory season kicks off on June 4 with Romeo and Juliet, set in East Jerusalem. Director Ellen Geer elucidates the continued relevance of this 421-year-old play, setting Shakespeare’s tale of forbidden love and warring families in a city beset by age-old prejudices, street violence and religious differences.  More

Review: Romeo and Juliet wrestle with Love and Hate in a modern-day world

Romeo and Juliet - A Noise Within

Will Bradley and Donnla Hughes. Photos by Craig Schwartz

In director Dámaso Rodríguez’s version of Romeo and Juliet, a group of actors gathers to put on the play in a graffiti-covered alley. A pair of dumpsters, two wooden pallets, and a movable iron ladder makes up the bulk of the set pieces. Everything is covered in spray paint and decay.

The contemporary urban setting adds significant weight to the themes of Shakespeare’s story and is remarkably shrewd in its point of view. Graffiti as an art form has long been the expression of those whose opinions run contrary to society, much like we see in the characters of Romeo and Juliet.

Born into two families who have hated each other for longer than anyone can remember, they defy their parents and fall in love. Right or wrong, they will do anything to be together. It is a stance that every teenager understands – the moment when you begin to pull away from authority and make your own choices regardless of the consequences – that speaks to the popularity of the play, generation after generation.

On this canvas, love and hate struggle for the upper hand. And while we know how the story ends, it doesn’t mean we still don’t hope that this time, somehow, the tragedy will be averted. It is powerful – this ongoing conversation about love and hate, especially in 2016.  More

A Noise Within Announces Cast of Romeo and Juliet coming Valentine’s Day

Donnla Hughes and Will Bradley. Photos by Daniel Reichert

Donnla Hughes and Will Bradley. Photos by Daniel Reichert

Will Bradley and Donnla Hughes will star as Romeo and Juliet in A Noise Within’s production of William Shakespeare’s classic love story. Director by Dámaso Rodríguez, performances begin February 14 and will continue through May 8, 2016.

ANW artistic director Geoff Elliott says, “When we approached Dámaso about directing for us this season, he responded by saying that he has wanted to do Romeo and Juliet because it deals with the most basic of human emotions – love, rashness, hate, fate – as in being star-cross’d – and tribalism, which drives just about anything we call news. Humans have passion, conduct war, and kill each other over a tribalism that often doesn’t even remember what has driven the conflicts. And I think that Dámaso has found a direct and compelling way to tell this story.”

Dámaso Rodríguez adds, “I recently went to Cuba where I saw theatre companies without much in the way of money putting on plays, with found objects for props and scenery, and in very low-tech, low-resource performance spaces. And the plays with just the actors themselves having to rely on their skills, were powerful and inspirational. In this place where there are few resources, actors and audience link as a community with the powerful need to tell and hear stories joining them as a whole.”

“So I wanted to bring this experience to Romeo and Juliet—the most elemental and known play,” he continues. “We have a frame story of an acting company like the ones I saw in Cuba: their costumes will be clothes that the actors own, the props are ones they found on the street, the setting will be urban, and the play will exist in telling rather than the trappings. At the start there are two families that just hate each other; the prejudice and hate have been passed on for so long that neither side knows or remembers the source of it.”

Romeo and Juliet - A Noise Within
In addition to Bradley and Hughes as Romeo and Juliet, the cast includes Amir Abdullah, Christian Barillas, Alan Blumenfeld, June Carryl, Robertson Dean, Charlotte Gulezian, Rafael Goldstein, Chase Green, Carina Haller, Jill Hill, Seven Pierce-English, Marcos J. Ruiz, Larry Sonderling, Kathryn Ventress, and Troy Whiteley.

A symposium with a lecture from a noted scholar will take place on Wednesday Feb 17 at 6:30 pm, and post-performance conversations with the artists will be held following the Friday March 18 (8pm), Friday April 8 (8pm), Friday April 29 (8pm), and Sunday May 8 (2pm) performances.

February 14 – May 8, 2016 (opening night 2/20)
A Noise Within
3352 East Foothill Blvd.,
Pasadena, CA 91107
Tickets: or 626-356-3100 ex 1
Single Tickets from $44.00 Student Rush with ID an hour before performance $20.00 Groups (10 or more): Adults from $30/ticket; Students from $18/ticket. Pay What You Can Performance: Thursday, Feb 18 at 7:30pm. Tickets go on sale at the box office window the day of the performance, starting at 2pm, and are sold on a cash-only basis based on availability; limit of two tickets per person.

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