Tuesday, June 26, 2018

A Summer Spin With Romeo and Juliet and Romeo


Wanna romp with Romeo and Juliet and Romeo? Roustabouts Theatre Co. under the deft direction of Kim Strassburger is presenting Ruff Yeager’s new play “Romeo, Romeo and Juliet” with a wink and a nod to all who can’t get enough of the star crossed lovers, whether backstage in rehearsals or on stage in front of an audience. It is playing on the Moxie Stage in Rolando through July 8th.

Yeager along with Phil (“Jewish Joke”) Johnson founded the Roustabout Theatre a few years ago and teaming with Will Cooper (“Jade Heart”) launched “Margin of Error” at the San Diego Repertory Theatre to critical acclaim. 

Omri Schein and Phil Johnson’s “Withering Height’s” at Diversionary put them back on the map the with a side splitting takeoff on Emily Brontë’s Wuthering Heights”.
Brian Mackey and Michelle Marie Trester
Now Yeager is at it again with this new- found treasure “Romeo, Romeo and Juliet”. Please Do Not go into this high energy, sidesplitting production with any preconceived notions. Ménage á trios?  Sorta kinda.  Heavy- duty sex? Not so much. Romeo and Romeo? Maybe. But lets not forget about Juliet and her own Romeo.

P.S. It might be all of the above, so be prepared.

Tracy, Simon and Nancy (Michael Silberblatt, Brian Mackey and Michelle Marie Trester) are in rehearsals for a Summer Stock production of “Romeo and Juliet on Cape Cod in an old carved out barn for a theatre.
Michael Silberblatt, Brian Mackey and Michelle Marie Trester
Simon, just out of grad school is directing. Tracey just finished his junior year of college and Nancy just finished her freshman year in college. The only thing we know so far about Nancy is that she is from St. George, Utah (think Mormon) and is filling in for someone named Connie, who landed a role in a off Broadway gig.

Banter between the two men tells us that they have worked together in the past and something went on between them after their last gig. Tracy is practicing some word exercises, Simon is otherwise engaged and things look pretty normal as the two busy themselves.
Michelle Marie Trester
When Nancy enters she is all over the place. Well she's more like over the top, where did she come from off the wall high on Sprite, energetic. Nancy nabbed the role of Laurie in a home- grown production of “Oklahoma” and got her equity card and now three replacements out, she's Juliet. 

With one week left of rehearsals and with Nancy just coming into the role, the others learn that she never studied Shakespeare in school.

The trio create more fun than watching a barrel of monkeys as Silberblatt’s (making his San Diego theatre debut) is a starry eyed Romeo. His attraction for Simon is an on again off again topic of conversation between the two during rehearsals but when Silberblatt's Romeo plants a big one on Simon, Nancy about flips out.

Mackey just coming off a high from Lamb’s Players Theatre’s “Noises Off” is almost as hysterical as Simon the director fighting off Tracy’s advances as he was in the role of Gary running in and out of bedrooms and hopping up and down stairs with his feet tied together.

Mackey, one of San Diego’s finest young stars is versatile enough to make that transition and in turn, in the end, leaves Tracy with words of wisdom for both men to leave their respective roles in “Rx2 and J” on friendly terms with some hope for their future together, or not.

Trester’s Nancy, goggle -eyed for Tracy (N: “You’re better than Ryan Gosling in La La Land”) is the perfect foil for both men. Showing off her skills in the recent production of “The Effect of Gamma Rays on Moon in the Moon Marigolds” at Cygnet Theatre, she more than proved he comedic talents as Nancy Over the Moon, Juliet.
Michelle Marie Trester and Brian Mackey
Yeager, who has paid his dues doing summer stock playing in “Where’s Charley” in 1987 at Missouri State along with many more, I'm guessing, knows from whence he comes. 

Talented beyond “Romeo, Romeo and Juliet”: Director and co creator of “She-Rantulas from Outer Space” and current Ass. Professor at Southwestern, yours truly goes back with Ruff more years than I care to remember. It’s hard to forget his 6foot 6 stature when you are 5feet 2, maybe. 

Yeager, master of all trades also designed the sound in “R&R”. Curtis Mueller designed the lighting and Jordyn Smiley the costumes. It’s one hell of funny and delightful show. 

Have yourselves a blast with Juliet vying for at least one Romeo’s attention, and Romeo yearning for another's.
Brian and Michelle
It’s worth a two thumbs up for shi** and giggles.!

 See you at the theatre.

Dates: Through July 8th
Organization: Roustabouts Theatre co
Phone: 619-728-7820
Production Type: Comedy
Where: 6663 El Cajon Blvd. San Diego, CA 92115
Ticket Prices: $38.00
Web: theroustabouts.org
Venue: Moxie Theatre
Photo: Daren Scott

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