From Verona With Love

Why is it we keep settling on Romeo and Juliet as Shakespeare’s signature work? Its first critic saw it and sniffed, “It is a play of itself the worst that I ever heard in my life.” Macbeth is swifter, Hamlet more epic.

R and J is easy to discover while young. And certainly the pop adaptations don’t hurt: West Side Story could be understood by your average 8-year-old; Baz Luhrmann’s Romeo + Juliet accomplished no greater feat for its demographic than to keep a 21-year-old Leonardo DiCaprio soaking wet virtually throughout.

We may never ascend to the uneasy throne of Scotland, nor be visited by the ghost of our assassinated father — but all of us fall in love, often against long odds, often in defiance of our families. This is why teenagers and anyone who was once a teen can get behind this funny, violent romantic tragedy: Boy meets girl, boy and girl fall in love, tragedy befalls boy and girl, and their families grieve mightily. Miserable ever after? No truer love story was ever told. Catch the coproduction by the Acting Company and the Guthrie Theater in one of four performances between Thursday and Sunday at the Kravis Center (701 Okeechobee Blvd., West Palm Beach). Tickets cost $38 apiece. Friday’s performance is at 7:30 p.m. Visit kravis.org, or call the box office at 561-832-7469.
Fri., March 19, 7:30 p.m.; Sat., March 20; Sun., March 21, 2010

 
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