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Broadway’s ‘Romeo & Juliet’ fails to captivate

While we know the outcome of William Shakespeare’s “Romeo & Juliet,” it’s still a story that dazzles, shocks, and breaks the heart. These two star-crossed lovers die in each other’s arms by the end, and the reason why we become intrigued in their story is because of the characters and the actors who take on the role. But the recent Broadway adaptation, which ran in theaters nationwide beginning Feb. 13, lacks the punch needed to feel any real emotion by the time the story reaches that moment.

Orlando Bloom and the rest of the cast of 'Romeo & Juliet'
Photo by Rob Kim/Getty Images

This event, which originally ran in 2013, was brought to the big screen via Fathom Events and Screenvision. And while there was one very brief instance where the audio dropped, and another where the picture went black for less than a second, the presentation played out very well.

Orlando Bloom, of “Lord of the Rings” fame, makes his Broadway debut here, and starts off with very little charisma. As the play progresses, his performance enhances, but it’s not really enough to make the viewer care as much as he or she should. His Romeo is a bit dull, and there are times where we sit in our chair wondering why she should bother with what he has to say.

Condola Rashad, however, is a powerhouse to watch as the lovely Juliet. She commands the stage with her performance. And when Bloom finally gains his ground, the two’s chemistry works. But at this point, the viewer’s interest has waned, and their relationship isn’t intriguing enough to bring it back to before the play began.

The rest of the cast does well, but their performances aren’t enough to carry the film. The most notable ones are Christian Carmargo’s Mercutio and Chuck Cooper’s Lord Capulet. Mercutio has always been a favorite of the Chico Events Examiner’s, and Carmargo doesn’t disappoint. Cooper is a surprise as Juliet’s father, and his emotional scenes are meaningful.

The background settings are very nicely constructed and very reminiscent of Baz Luhrman’s 1996 film. Despite its positives, this “Romeo & Juliet” is a bit of a letdown. Some of the jokes work, while others kind of fall flat. One could be mistaken as racist, even though that was probably not the director’s intention.

Fathom Events’ presentation of Broadway’s “Romeo & Juliet” plays again on Feb. 14 at 7:30 p.m. and on Feb. 16 at 2 p.m. Click here to see if it is playing at a theater near you.

Thanks to Fathom Events for providing passes.

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