by William Shakespeare, New York and Tour
New York Post
… by far the best Shakespeare of the year came from the Acting Company which, under the direction of Leon Rubin, gave a hell-bent, heaven-sent staging of Romeo – speedy, articulate and elegant.
New York Post – On The Town
… one production – that of the Acting Company – was absolutely superb.
The Acting company, founded by the late John Houseman and America’s only classic touring company, which earlier in the week had treated New York to a boisterous and quite enjoyable staging of The Two Gentlemen of Verona, turned up wondrous trumps in a Romeo and Juliet that conveyed all the play’s hectic speed and passion, its youthful poetry and its sense of tragic ecstasy and waste.
The young British director, Leon Rubin, a former artistic director of the Bristol Old Vic, had welded his team of youthful actors – few of them particularly experienced – into a formidable ensemble, and they talked the play with clarity and grace, together with a verve and attack that was pure pleasure to watch.
Mark Stewart Guin and Diana LaMar made tremulous, ardent and touching lovers, William D. Michie provided a neatly sardonic Mercutio, and Mark Kincald, a savagely feline Tybalt. But it was the teamwork and the staging – including an excellent setting by Derck McLane – more than individuals which co memorably counted.
Galloway township – The Acting Company’s production of Romeo and Juliet is a very sexy play.
In this Verona, sword fights are lusty, meetings are often clandestine, and the famous star-crossed lovers – Romeo and Juliet – are physically explosive from the first delicate touch of the fingertips.
By no means does this imply that this production is offensive; director Leon Rubin has done more than turn this Shakespeare classic into a sensual body ballet.
He’s helped make the story clearer, more understandable, because the actors and actresses use their bodies imaginatively to convey meaning each time they speak in Shakespeare’s English, something many audiences have trouble understanding. The laughter that rippled through the audience of high school students attending Friday morning’s performance clearly shows they understood what was happening.