wherefore art thou….oh, man!

Photo by Paula Court

Nature Theater of Oklahoma’s Romeo and Juliet at The Kitchen is a bite-sized nugget of highbrow holiday goodness that you would be a fool to miss. Basically what they’ve done is asked a bunch of people what the story of R&J is, transcribed their answers and staged them in faux-Shakespearian style. I say “basically” because it is also so much more.

Like all Nature Theater shows the premise is simple, but hidden in the simplicity are little explosions of insight into the human character, how we make meaning, how we remember stories, how we try and convey our inner life to each other, how we feel about love and much more. Anne Gridley and Robert M. Johansen are hilarious and engaging.  We do get the story of R&J, but we are also tested to see how much we remember of it as we are reminded of why it is timeless and iconic.

I don’t want to tell too much more because the show goes through two major tonal changes that unfold deeper and deeper meaning turning what could have just been a too-clever exercise into a resonant and touching meditation on love and loss and need.

The only thing I didn’t really understand was the chicken.

OH and I say bite-sized because compared to the epic proportions of some of their other shows, this one clocks in at just under 1.5 hours (no intermission) that practically flies by. Definitely worth checking out. Run, don’t walk.

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