Every week, TicketForce brings you news on one of four industries: theatre, music, sports or racing. This week’s #theatrewrap invites you to engage in a hot conversation buzzing around Broadway: are Shakespeare renditions better in their classical format, or are they more memorable and relatable in a contemporary setting?
In the coming months, there will be many show openings addressing this hot topic. David Leveaux’s contemporary interpretation of “Romeo and Juliet” opened recently at the Richard Rogers Theater in New York. Romeo, played by Orlando Bloom, is first introduced to the audience as he rides in on a motorcycle. His get-up has been described as “urban hipster,” as he is adorned in distressed denim and men’s jewelry – definitely a contemporary spin on the original!
Another example of Shakespeare gone contemporary is the 1996 Baz Luhrmann movie production of “Romeo and Juliet.” This film, starring the young Leonardo DiCaprio and Claire Danes, was created with the same foundation found in the Shakespeare original, but was set in a gun violence plagued Southern California. In the original work, this drama is located in Verona, Italy, almost the polar-opposite of California.
Many directors have been going the contemporary route when it comes to interpreting this theater legend’s handiwork. Their hope is that young audiences who find the language and writing style challenging, might find the dramas more interesting if they are more relatable.
What do you think? Are Shakespearean creations more memorable in their classical state? Or are they better off with a more contemporary feel? Share your thoughts with us by posting a comment below or tweeting your answers to @ticketforce.