At Two River Theater in Red Bank, New Jersey, Hansol Jung's previously announced modern verse translation of Romeo and Juliet begins its world premiere April 8. Set to play through April 30, the show and its Broadway alum-studded cast will then transfer to Off-Broadway's Lynn F. Angelson Theater.
Starring in the all Asian-American cast as the work's leading lovers are Major Curda (KPOP) as Romeo and Dorcas Leung (Miss Saigon) as Juliet. They are joined by Broadway's Brian Lee Huynh (War Horse) as Capulet, along with Purva Bedi as Friar Laurence, Jose Gamo as Mercutio, Zion Jang as Benvolio, Mia Katigbak as the Nurse, Rob Kellogg as Paris/Tybalt, and Daniel Liu as Peter/Lady Capulet. The full company also doubles as the ensemble.
Jung and Dustin Wills (Wolf Play) co-direct the production which features original music by Brian Quijada. The pair helm a creative team which includes scenic designer Junghyun Georgia Lee, costume designer Mariko Ohigashi, lighting designer Joey Moro, sound designer Megumi Katayama, fight and intimacy directors Rick and Christian Sordelet, and dramaturg Aaron Malkin. Casting is by Andrea Zee. Nygel D. Robinson serves as music director.
"Hansol and Dustin bring an unusual perspective to the familiar story, leaning into the comedy so that the tragedy is in devastating relief: 'See what a scourge is birthed to scorn your hate/That heaven found means to kill your joys with love.' One of the last few lines of the play, we are asked to think on the consequences of ‘rusty hate,’” said Katigbak in a statement.
Announced as part of Play On Shakespeare's current season, Romeo and Juliet is presented by Two River Theater in partnership with NAATCO. Jung's take on the work was originally presented by Two River Theater as part of its Benefit Reading Series under the direction of Chay Yew.
The Off-Broadway run will begin previews May 9, open May 14, and play through June 3.