The world’s most famous star-crossed lovers return in a Modesto Junior College production of “Romeo and Juliet.”
The famed tragic romance by William Shakespeare will be staged by the MJC theater department starting Thursday and running through March 29. The play follows the title characters, who come from two families, both alike in dignity, but fueled by an ancient grudge.
The story has been adapted countless times for stage and screen, including a famed 1968 film by Franco Zeffirelli and the 1996 modernized remake by Baz Luhrmann featuring Leonardo DiCaprio and Claire Danes as the doomed lovers. The Bard’s work also has inspired everything from “West Side Story” to “High School Musical.”
The MJC production will take a more traditional approach to the material. Theater arts instructor Lynette Borrelli-Glidewell helms the production with assistant director Patrick Norris, costume designer Anne Shanto, set designer Ty Helton and lighting designer Kevin Saunders.
Jonathan Smith and Marilyn Diaz star in the title roles. The actors have starred in MJC productions primarily in comedic roles, including the production of “Grease,” so Borrelli-Glidewell said this was a nice departure for them.
“I think this is awesome, to see two comedic actors totally change gears and do something like this,” she said.
The cast also includes Joel Morrison as Friar Laurence, Ethan Hennes as Mercutio, Dain Morrison as Tybalt, Sean Trew as Sir Capulet, Samantha Bement as Lady Capulet, Nick Salvucci as Sir Montague, Michael Lynch as the Apothecary, Erin Isaacs as the Nurse, Philip Azevedo as the Prince, and Timothy Glidewell as Paris.
The play was chosen for the spring show because of its broad appeal and educational component.
“What is bigger as a household name than ‘Romeo and Juliet’? But it is also something that connects to the high schools,” Borrelli-Glidewell said. “It connects with what they are reading in literature.”
A special preview for students will be held Thursday. The general production will run March 20-29.
“Romeo and Juliet”
When: Student Preview Night, 7:30 p.m. Thursday; 7:30 p.m. March 20-21 and 26-28; and 2 p.m. March 29
Where: Modesto Junior College, Auditorium of the Performing and Media Arts Center, 435 College Ave.
Tickets: $10 general, $8 students (Student Preview Night $5)
Call: (209) 575-6776