June 20, 2024

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Zendaya sees Romeo and Tom Holland making their Shakespearean debut in ‘Romeo and Juliet’

Zendaya sees Romeo and Tom Holland making their Shakespearean debut in ‘Romeo and Juliet’

I’m not sure I’d ever equate Tom Holland and Zendaya with the same level of star firepower as Richard Burton and Elizabeth Taylor, but the last time I witnessed frenzied pandemonium outside the Duke of York Theater was when Taylor went to see Burton read excerpts from Dylan Thomas Under the milk wood In February 1982.

It was crazy, with onlookers five deep on either side of the street waiting for a glimpse of the famous and often married Hollywood lovers.

Four decades later, I found myself in the same theater that has been on site in St Martin’s Lane since 1892.

This time it was the official opening night occasion of Jamie Lloyd’s stark, modern production of Shakespeare’s play. The greatest and most wonderful tragedy of Romeo and Juliet, To give its full title, it stars Holland and Francesca Ameodah Rivers as the tragic lovers.

This time barriers were erected on both sides of the stage to prevent uninvited fans from storming the lobby.

Fans wait outside the Duke of York Theater (Baz Bamigboye/Deadline)

There were hundreds of people waiting to see Holland and Zendaya, nowhere near the numbers I remember who were eager to see Burton and Taylor.

However, there were enough people to make this event a memorable one.

Earlier, about 30 minutes before showtime, Zendaya got out of the car, dashed through the ornate wrought-iron gates that quickly closed behind her, and rushed home through the stage door.

She repeated those same movements, but in reverse. After Holland hugged and kissed Amodah-Rivers, she bowed to him with a gesture. Romeo Juliet The company and the first night’s sweat rained down on his face.

Francesca Amodah-Rivers and Tom Holland take their bows Romeo Juliet Cast (Baz Bamigboye/Deadline)

Zendaya did an Olympic sprint in a waiting car while Holland obliged his fans by giving a little speech on the sidewalk about how happy he was that they were waiting to greet him.

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I say good bye to Zendaya for not wanting to steal her beau’s spotlight.

After all, it was her Romeo night.

Tom Holland and Zendaya leave the Duke of York Theater

Post “Romeo Ricky Vigil M/Justin E Palmer/GC Images”.

The boy had not stepped on the boards since he appeared Billy Elliot musicAcross town at Victoria Palace in 2008. At first, he played a supporting role, and later graduated to playing a working-class boy from a mining town who wanted to become a ballet dancer. He was on the show until 2010.

Holland returned to Victoria Palace six years later when… Billy Elliot It played its 4,600th and final performance. He joined the other young actors playing Billy, all joining in to give a dazzling encore that concluded with Elton John twirling across the stage in a white tutu. I’m kidding, you’re not. I think director Stephen Daldry put one in as well.

On Thursday night, director Lloyd trained video cameras on Holland backstage while wearing a hoodie. We, the audience, were able to follow his progress thanks to a huge screen that showed images of him climbing the stairs, walking through the aisles and onto the stage.

The women on either side of me in Row E couldn’t take their eyes off him.

Tom Holland in white shirt (Mark Brenner)

Likewise, Freema Agyeman, who plays the nurse, purred as she slid next to him and felt his biceps. He was wearing a white shirt and jeans. A little bit Marlon Brando, but Tom Holland is no Marlon Brando.

Later, she tells him to “Stand up and be a man for Juliette!”

Agyeman is great.

Lloyd had his team chant most of their lines using microphones on the stands, occasionally lifting them forward like a Rolling Stone.

No, they didn’t sing.

Lloyd uses the same playbook he used to dramatic effect in recent Broadway shows Sunset Street Starring Nicole Scherzinger.

Videographers follow the actors around the stage and the performance is shown on the screen. For example, the party where Romeo and Juliet meet was filmed live in one of the theater’s bars and transferred to us in the hall.

It was all fun and there was a sense of energy but there was no exciting theatrical twist to make the back of your neck tingle.

Holland was Jack the Boy Romeo who was perfectly fine. When he gets a little older, I look forward to seeing how he takes on the great roles in the classical repertoire.

Maybe some Ibsen?

Francesca Amoada Rivers’ friends with her parents Ross and Ayers Amoada Rivers (Baz Bamigboye/Deadline)

However, I can see why Lloyd cast Amuda in the role of Juliet. She certainly had a fire in her belly, and her line readings were buoyed by youthful exuberance.

Good work also from Michael Balogun as the Monk and Joshua Alexander Williams as Mercutio.

Paris is played by Daniel Quinn Toye, who is also Holland’s understudy. I would like to see what he will do with Romeo.

A friend of hers took her 13-year-old daughter, and she loved it all. Of course, she was there for Tom, but I was relieved that she wanted to go home and read the play.

And I enjoyed the man in the orchestra seats during the intermission exclaiming, “Every word out of their mouth is great, isn’t it?”

The thing is, this is the kind of production that will appeal to a young audience.

Tom Hiddleston and Zane Ashton (Buzz Bamigboye/Deadline)

New audience. They do not want to sit in traditional, stifling productions of the poet. The theater needs young audiences to be excited now so they will keep coming back.

They want the bright, polished rawness that Lloyd offers.

Those who spent the first night included Tom Hiddleston, Zayn Ashton, Lashana Lynch, Stormzy, Andrew Lloyd Webber, Mira Syal, Jeremy O’Harris, Tamzin Outhwaite, Jade Anouka, Robert Glenister and Ariane Moayed.