Romeo and Juliet

Archway Theatre presents Romeo and Juliet

By William Shakespeare

Directed by Steven Sabel

Presented by Archway Theatre, 10509 Burbank Blvd., North Hollywood, 91601

February 18 – March 19 – Friday and Saturday at 8PM, Saturday matinee at 2PM 

Well, what can one possibly say about “Romeo and Juliet” that hasn’t already been said a hundred or more times? 

A tragic, and beautiful story of petty jealousies, raging teenage hormones and the ridiculousness of small town, small mindedness and clear illustration of what heat and isolation can do to the otherwise sane. 

Who needs enemies when you have family? 

So it is always the details to me that really make this play.  We all know the language, the cues, the tangle of torment and timing that lead to the ultimate ‘break up’ scene.  But how do we really ‘feel’ it.  The answer of course is in the relationships.  Not just between Romeo and Juliet, but between every other character in the play.  The leads may have the meat of it, but many of the other characters, typically for Shakespeare, have some of the best lines…”A curse on both your houses.” 

We need to truly connect with these people.  We need to believe in this society, these two families and their feud.  We need to understand that to them, the stakes are high, the passion understandable and the hate deep. 

The Archway actors fully commit to the drama of this play.  The ups, the downs, the humor, the twisted turns of fate and the sense of unhinged and impending doom.  All this while believing totally in every word they say. They are all quite brilliant. 

And as for the lovesick couple?  It’s a tough task really, after all these many hundreds of years and many, many thousands of renditions of two such iconic and much reinvented characters.  But I have to say that Will Holbrook and Kei’la Ryan are delightful. 

The chemistry is magical between them, and their tender youth certainly belies a depth of artistry and a fierceness of emotion of actors many times their age and experience.  Their kisses actually had me blushing a few times, so seemingly lost in each other did they become.

Every actor was wonderful, as they always seem to be at Archway, and thoroughly enjoying the privilege of performing so perfect and well loved a play as Romeo and Juliet. 

I particularly enjoyed the antics of Mercutio and Benvolio, (Banks Boutte and Drew Petriello).  They reveled in their time on stage and entertained us splendidly. 

The staging is simple and effective, leaving the performances ample room and the actors the perfect setting for this stunning play.  The mark of any performance of any well-known play, particularly when you already know so well the ending, is whether it can actually hold the audience, really take us on a ride still.  This production surely did. It held us to the last and the tragidy was just as sweet as ever…bravo! 

I highly recommend “Romeo and Juliet” at Archway Theater.  Go along and fall in love and despair all over again!! 

Archway Theatre, 10509 Burbank Blvd., North Hollywood, 91601

February 18 – March 19 – Friday and Saturday at 8PM, Saturday matinee at 2PM 


Romeo – Will Holbrook

Juliet – Kei’la Ryan

Friar Laurence – Erie Castro

Lord Capulet – John Eddings

Lady Capulet – Hillary Weintraub

Nurse – Melissa Virgo

Mercutio – Banks Boutte

Benvolio – Drew Petriello

Tybalt – Taylor Marr

Paris – Adam David Green

Price Escalus – Richard Conolly

Lord Montague – Irwin Moskowitz

Petra – Katie Ghidossi

Watch/Apothocary/Friar John – Jason DeWitt

Samantha Simmonds-Ronceros
Author: Samantha Simmonds-Ronceros

Samantha Simmonds-Ronceros is a British writer and filmmaker living In Los Angeles.