Director David Leveaux is bringing interracial star-crossed lovers to Shakespeare’s play Romeo and Juliet. Starring in the Broadway version, Tony nominee Condola Rashad (Stick Fly) will play Orlando Bloom’s (Lord of the Rings) soul mate.
“They could have been any number of different ethnicities,” Mr. Leveaux tells The New York Times of his casting choices. “The two actors I wanted to be together producing sparks just happened to be those two and I followed my nose in casting the families.”
He went on to say, “There was nothing simple about that choice, but I’m not about to turn a contemporary version of Shakespeare into a sociological or political point… We know there are families from one background or another who would reject their children getting together with someone from another group. Romeo and Juliet reject that notion. It is still the case that children try to oppose the cultural expectations thrust upon them, the rigidity of tribes, the rigidity of fundamentalism.”
Shakespearean theater lovers can catch previews beginning on Aug. 24. Opening night will be held at the Richard Rodgers Theater on Sept. 19.
Rashad will also appear in upcoming work The Trip to Bountiful, which is currently in its 14-week run at the Stephen Sondheim Theater.
Additional casting for Romeo and Juliet to be announced.