Old and New Favorites in Staunton

I drove to Staunton at the end of August, braving the hordes of parents and returning UVA students as I came through C’ville, hoping the trip would be worth it! I had never been to any of the Staunton Music Festival concerts, so was pleased to have tickets for two of them. Both were exceptionally good, the Friday night concert at Trinity being as good if not better than any concert I’ve ever had the pleasure of attending either in the States or in Europe.

However, I really came to see Return to the Forbidden Planet and, of course, Romeo and Juliet. I am trying to figure out when I can come to see Planet again because it is SO MUCH FUN! The Shakespeare allusions and mangled quotes aside, the props, costumes, singing, dancing to 50’s and 60’s rock, plus the general mayhem were just incredible. I am sure I missed many of the asides and TERRIBLE puns in the dialogue – I’d love to see a script!

Romeo and Juliet was even better than the last time I saw it at the Blackfriars Playhouse several years ago. I love all the new actors in the troupe! The sheer physicality of the performance, the stage combat and the entire production should be required viewing for high school juniors who feel forced to read this play. They would never view The Bard in the same way again!

Bravo to everyone!

– Elma Allen

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