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Review Fri Nov 13 2015

R+J: The Vineyard Lets Hands Do What Lips Do, to Great Effect

By Beth Ann Barbieri

Brendan Connelly and McKenna Liesman as Romeo and Juliet
Brendan Connelly and McKenna Liesman as Romeo and Juliet. Photo by Joe Mazza.

R+J: The Vineyard brings a new twist to the story of star-crossed lovers. Set at the turn of the century in Martha's Vineyard, the show explores the dynamics between the deaf and those who can hear. A truly captivating work, the show weaves two languages together to tell a story that is accessible in both languages.

Janette Bauer and Aaron Sawyer's adaptation of Romeo and Juliet is 90 minutes of captivating storytelling. Sawyer, who also directed the show, did a wonderful job of creating the story visually and physically. In scenes that take place in American Sign Language, non-signing audiences are still drawn in and can follow the story.

The acting in this production transcends language, as the characters give beautiful performances that you can relate to regardless of which language you speak. Brendan Connelly's Romeo is charming and passionate while McKenna Liesman's Juliet is naïve and enchanting. Brenda Scott Wlazlo's performance as Benvolio is outstanding. Her infectious laugh will draw you in, and her performance will leave you breathless.

This collaborative work between Red Theatre Company and Oracle Theatre is not to be missed. Originally scheduled to close Nov. 21, R+J: The Vineyard has just been extended through Dec. 12 at Oracle Theatre, 3809 N. Broadway. Tickets are free and may be reserved online. UPDATE: The production has been extended again, with new dates Jan. 22 through Feb. 20 at The Den Theatre, 1333 N Milwaukee Ave., 3rd Floor.

 
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sharona / November 14, 2015 1:18 PM

spell-check is a terrible thing...or was that a joke?

Nancy / December 9, 2015 11:36 AM

Not a joke. Something missed by several people.

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Architecture Tue Nov 03 2015

Paul Goldberger Describes the "Pragmatism and Poetry" of Frank Gehry's Architecture in His New Book

By Nancy Bishop

Architecture critic Paul Goldberger talks about Frank Gehry's life and work in a new book.
Read this feature »

Steve at the Movies Fri Jan 01 2016

Best Feature Films & Documentaries of 2015

By Steve Prokopy

Read this column »

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