The Royal Shakespeare Company at the Park Avenue Armory on Friday, August 5, as part of the Lincoln Center Festival.
Romeo and Juliet can be a dreamy, romantic play, but it doesn’t have to be. That is, in fact, one of the things that makes the play so fascinating, so rewatchable: the lovers, their relationship, and the world around them shifts with every actor, every director.
Personally, I like a coolly clear-eyed interpretation, never glorifying the lovestruck teenagers for their heedlessness, perhaps going so far as to subvert the very idea of “love at first sight,” but even I found director Rupert Goold’s Romeo and Juliet a bit harsh: still tragic but also deeply cynical, in a way that undermines the drama of the play. I enjoyed the production immensely, and the staging was spectacular, but his star-crossed lovers didn’t capture my imagination the way others have.