Here’s some fun Broadway news. Orlando Bloom will make his Broadway debut playing opposite Tony Award nominee Condola Rashad in William Shakespeare’s “Romeo and Juliet.” The production about the bitter divide between the Montagues and Capulets will be underscored by their different ethnicities.
Five-time Tony nominee David Leveaux will direct the staging, also set to feature Jayne Houdyshell (“Follies”) as Juliet’s Nurse, and Joe Morton (“Raisin”) as her father, Lord Capulet.
The production will begin previews August 24, 2013 at the Richard Rodgers Theatre, and will open officially on Sept. 19. Shakespeare’s timeless romantic tragedy was last presented on Broadway in 1977.
I’m not familiar with Condola Rashad (she’s played in “Smash” and “Sex and the City 2″), but can definitely see Orlando Bloom as Romeo. I love that this new version will take place in a modern setting, but will keep the text’s original language.
“Shakespeare did not only write of his world – he imagined ours,” said Leveaux in a press release. “The very improbability that two young people might, through their imaginations and their courage, change the world by overcoming the cynical tyranny of division handed down to them by their elders, is the best and happily most improbable reason I can imagine to bring this story to the Broadway stage today.”
Of course, Bloom is probably best known for the “Lord of the Rings” and “Pirates of the Caribbean” movies (both great franchises to have in your list of credits), but he had extensive stage training in London, where he made his professional debut in 2007 in a West End production of David Storey’s “In Celebration.” “Romeo and Juliet” marks his first appearance on Broadway.
Rashad earned a Tony nomination in 2012 as best featured actress for her Broadway debut in “Stick Fly.” Prior to that, she received kudos for her breakout performance Off Broadway in Lynn Nottage’s Pulitzer Prize-winning drama, “Ruined.” She will appear this season opposite Cicely Tyson, Vanessa Williams and Cuba Gooding Jr. in “The Trip to Bountiful,” opening April 23. Rashad also starred with Queen Latifah and Alfre Woodard in the recent Lifetime remake of “Steel Magnolias.”