[NoHo Arts District, CA] – A NoHo Arts theatre review of Edmond Rostand’s “The Romantics presented by the City of West Hollywood and the Classical Theatre Lab, directed by Suzanne Hunt running through September 25 at Kings Road Park, West Hollywood.
Classic Theatre Lab was founded in 1990 by a group of theatre artists bound to share their love of the classics and their passion for inclusivity with the Los Angeles theatre goers. “The Romantics” is therefore the perfect vehicle for them. Written by Edmond Rostand, who also wrote the brilliant “Cyrano de Bergerac,” “The Romantics” is a twist on Romeo and Juliette. Two lovers from opposing families, Percinet and Sylvette, meet in secret to hide their love. However, their parents are far from opposed to their union and are eager themselves to reconcile their own differences. But they fear their support of the two young lovers’ relationship might in fact put an end to it, as fickle as teenagers are and as determined to do the opposite of what their parents want. So, they concoct a ruse. They hire a “kidnapper” to stage a kidnapping of Sylvette to allow Percinet to save her, so that Sylvette’s mother can reward him with Sylvette’s hand in marriage and they can all live happily ever after.
The plan works like a charm. However, the lovers now have nothing to hide, no clandestine meetings and hushed words of love and they begin to doubt their own feelings, and all is nearly lost…nearly.
This production is performed in the shade of the tall trees in the lovely Kings Road Park in West Hollywood, with nothing but the charms of the wonderful actors, a few props and some fabulous songs…and yet it works absolutely brilliantly!!!
I love outdoor theatre, and the classics were always mostly performed outside, in marketplaces, or amphitheaters or open-roofed buildings. And so a period play such as “The Romantics” feels right at home on the leaf-carpeted park with the occasional squirrel chattering along.
The performances are perfection, each and every one. All the players are deeply committed to the playfulness of the story and the unique setting in amongst the good people of West Hollywood.
As with all plays performed in parks or anywhere outside, the audience is almost as much a part of the story as the play. They contribute to the magic of the moment. The children whispering questions to their mother, the dogs stretching and yawning, the general good humor of those who came to share the space for a while. It’s all a part of the experience, and I must say that this little park is a truly glorious performance space.
So try and find a reason not to trot along this closing weekend and be a part of some wonderful live theatre. I dare you! Another huge bonus of outdoor theatre is that you can eat your picnic and drink your tea and be happy in the knowledge that many a squirrel will thank you for your crumbs! Support these wonderful people and their deep love for theatre!
The cast features the talents of Johnny Austen, Maaren Edvard, Carlo Figlio, Maegan McConnell, Katie McKewin, Donald Wayne and Alexander Wells.
Production Team includes producers Suzanne Hunt and Alexander Wells, Katie McKewin (Assistant Director/Movement Choreographer) and Garth Pillsbury (Photographer).
September 11 – 25
Saturdays and Sundays at 3:00 pm
FREE – donations welcome
1000 N Kings Rd. West Hollywood, CA 90069