Circle in the Square Theatre, (3/17/1977 - 5/22/1977)

First Preview: Feb 25, 1977
Opening Date: Mar 17, 1977
Closing Date: May 22, 1977
Total Previews: 23
Total Performances: 77

Category: Play, Tragedy, Revival, Broadway
Setting: Verona and Mantua.

Opening Night Production Staff

Theatre Owned / Operated by Circle in the Square (under the direction of Theodore Mann and Paul Libin)

Produced by Circle in the Square (Theodore Mann: Artistic Director; Paul Libin: Managing Director)

Written by William Shakespeare; Incidental music by Thomas Pasatieri

Directed by Theodore Mann

Scenic Design by Ming Cho Lee; Costume Design by John Conklin; Lighting Design by Thomas Skelton; Hair and Wig Design by Paul Huntley

Company Manager: William Conn

Production Stage Manager: Randall Brooks; Stage Manager: James Bernardi

Musical Supervisor: Earl Shendell

Fight direction by Patrick Crean and Erik Fredricksen; Circle in the Square General Press Representative: Merle Debuskey; Press Representative: David Roggensack and Susan L. Schulman; Textual Advisor: Diana Maddox; Photographer: Martha Swope; Advertising: The Blaine Thompson Company; Casting Consultant: Deborah Brown and Lynn Kressel

Opening Night Cast

Pamela Payton-WrightJuliet
daughter to Capulet
Paul RuddRomeo
son of Montague
Jack GwillimFriar Laurence
a Franciscan
Jan MinerNurse to Juliet
Lester RawlinsCapulet
David RoundsMercutio
kinsman to the prince and friend to Romeo
Armand AssanteTybalt
nephew to Lady Capulet
Daniel Ben-ZaliApothecary
Jim BroaddusChorus
Mark CohenPage to Paris
Michael ForellaBalthasar
servant to Romeo
Erik FredricksenCousin Capulet
Richard GreeneEscalus
prince of Verona
Helen HarrelsonLady Montague
wife to Montague
Delphi HarringtonLady Capulet
wife to Capulet
K. C. KellyMusician
Tom KlunisMontague
Dennis LipscombGregory
servant to Capulet
Chief Watch
Ruth LivingstonLady of Verona
Christopher LoomisSampson
servant to Capulet
Dennis PatellaPeter
servant to Juliet's nurse
Lisa PelikanRosaline
Jennifer SavidgeLady of Verona
John V. SheaParis
a young nobleman, kinsman to the prince
Peter Van NordenAbram
Friar John
a Franciscan
Ray WiseBenvolio
nephew to Montague and friend to Romeo

Understudies: Daniel Ben-Zali (Capulet, Montague), Jim Broaddus (Abram, Escalus, Friar John), Helen Harrelson (Nurse to Juliet), K. C. Kelly (Balthasar, Gregory, Peter, Sampson, Watchman), Dennis Lipscomb (Mercutio, Paris), Ruth Livingston (Lady Capulet, Lady Montague), Lisa Pelikan (Juliet), John Rose (Benvolio, Chorus, Tybalt), John V. Shea (Romeo) and Peter Van Norden (Friar Laurence)


New York Daily News: "A so-so 'Romeo and Juliet'"

The uptown Circle in the Square's new production of "Romeo and Juliet," which opened last night, is painstaking, straightforward and decent enough in appearance, but except for odd, illuminating moments it lacks the sweep and flair the play demands. In other words, it's rather dull.

Like too many American productions of Shakespeare's romantic tragedy, this one misses the rhythms and gathering tension. It's not that it moves too slowly, it's simply that it pours out like a syrup, scene following scene without much excitement.

Paul Rudd and Pamela Payton-Wright, both of them actors who have demonstrated their worth time and again in the past, are the lovers. And they play them with the daring and abandon of youth, but with only a surface fervor, except, I would say, for her moments of soliloquizing, which would be even more effective if her voice, shallow and unmusical, did not grate so at times and garble the words.

As for Rudd's Romeo, it is a good physical match for his Juliet, but much of his speech is also lost in his carefully, but not always justly chosen, voice patterns. Of course, much but not all of the blame can be laid to the peculiarly shaped house, which has the actors facing away from you a good deal of the time. (Tybalt's spearing of Mercutio, the latter role nicely handled by David Rounds, was not even noticable from where I sat.)

The main trouble seems to be with Theodore Mann's thoughtful but uninspired and plodding direction. Some of the players in character roles rise above this. For example, Jan Miner's Nurse is delightful, funny but not overdone. And Jack Gwillim's Friar Laurence is a firm and compelling characterization. Lester Rawlins brings a suave quality to Capulet, and most of the other roles are adequately played.

Ming Cho Lee's all-purpose set with the balcony and a sort of catwalk leading away from it along the back wall, and a promenade-like area in front, used for street fights, the ball scene, the crypt and other things, serves all its uses reasonably well, though its pale tones and obviously flimsy construction make it resemble slightly the Belgian Village sets from the World's Fair.

John Conklin's costumes are traditional and suitable and Thomas Skelton's lighting is nicely considered. There are faint bits of romantic background music provided by Thomas Pasatieri, and praise must be meted out to Patrick Crean and Erik Fredericksen for their bustling staging of the fight and fencing scenes.

This is a "Romeo and Juliet" that won't hurt you, but neither will it transport you.

New York Daily News

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