By Kathy Carpenter
“They do not love that do not show their love.” Shakespeare
Coronado Playhouse’s 16th annual Free Classic Series presents The San Diego Premiere of “Two Gentleman Rock Verona.” “Summertime fun, Effervescent-toe-tapping-fifties tunes, and Classic Shakespeare.” Written by William Shakespeare. Edited and Adapted by James Saba. Musical arrangement by Steve Gunderson. Directed by James Saba. Choreography by Erin Peterson. Time for a mid-summer break?
Two friends journey to Verona. during the 1950’s, Proteus, leaves behind a love, Julia. They exchange rings until they meet again. Valentine, his friend, finds love in Verona. He is besotted immediately upon setting eyes on Sylvia. She too show interest. Alas her father has other ideas. Proteus, finds himself also captivated by the alluring Sylvia, and tries his own pursuit.
Back home the fair Julia misses her man and decides to go in pursuit. Being the times as they were she disguises herself as a boy. Arriving in Verona she finds Proteus has fallen for someone else. She follows along with the group searching for Valentine awaiting her chance to make herself known to Proteus.
When Sylvia spurns Proteus for her true love Valentine, Julia and Proteus rekindle their love. The road to love is never easy. This is not a tragedy but a lighter fun version of Shakespeare. Although the origin not quite known (this may be Shakespeare’s first play,) a comely, written roughly around 1590. Most of the dialogue is in the original Shakespearean poetry, this version is in manageable bite size pieces. Easier for the novice fans to digest.
The Rockstar of the show is Ria Carey, she plays Lucetta, maid to Julia, and an outlaw.A powerhouse voice and a knockout personality. A true star. Proteus, played by Raymond Evans, is a seasoned actor and his Shakespeare reflects his capabilities. On the other hand, Sam Castillo is a newbie, he was little
green to start with warming up as he went. Shows promise. Julia , played by Maura McMillan, is a Musical Theatre student at state. With a beautiful voice. Slyvia, is played by Hannah Bosworth, giving merit to her role. Russell Clement, playing Launce, was the comic relief of the piece. Over-the-top humor, not my thing, I could have passed on his role. However he played a colorful character kind of Saturday Night Live humor, doing a great job. Daniel Ehrlich, plays Thurio, moving from behind the house to stage. A small role, but he has made a move.
Kara Tuckfield, plays Poteus’s mother, and an outlaw, She was in Murder on the Orient Express, she is fabulous as a high society person. Gary John Ziccardi. delivered his lines flawlessly, but with a lack of emotion. For all I know that is Shakespeare. Lu Garcia, is part of the back up trio. He needs to be recognized as his role as the bad boy. He was tremendous in the part. The motorcycle scene a moment of delight. Camelina Cedillo and Marcy Ledvinka, as girl back up singers round out the cast.
Teenage angst amid frivolous rock music. Who could resist? Imahni King-Murillo the music director intoxicated us with incredible jukebox hits behind the action. My favorite “Puppy Love.” Huge Donny Osmond fan who sang the song in the !970’s. Castillo did justice to the song.
“Nothing can come to nothing.” Shakespeare
Come enjoy the show.
Two Men Rock Verona
July 28 – August 7
Five shows left
1835 Stand Way Coronado
Hands on a Hard Body
September 2 – 25