[NoHo Arts District, CA] – A NoHo Arts theatrical review of “The Romantics” by Edmond Rostand presented by the City of West Hollywood and the Classical Theater Laboratory, directed by Suzanne Hunt and running through September 25 at Kings Road Park, West Hollywood.
Classic Theater Lab was founded in 1990 by a group of theater artists aiming to share their love of the classics and passion for inclusion with Los Angeles theatergoers. “The Romantics” is therefore the perfect vehicle for them. Written by Edmond Rostand, who also wrote the brilliant “Cyrano de Bergerac,” “The Romantics” is a twist on Romeo and Juliette. Two lovers from opposite families, Percinet and Sylvette, secretly meet to hide their love. However, her parents are far from opposed to their union and are eager to reconcile their own difference. But they fear that their support of the two young lovers’ relationship may actually end it, as fickle as teenagers and as determined to do the opposite of what their parents want. So, they come up with a ruse. They hire a “kidnapper” to stage a kidnapping of Sylvette to allow Percinet to save her from her, so that Sylvette’s mother can reward him with Sylvette’s hand in marriage and they can all live happily ever after.
The plan works like a charm. However, the lovers now have nothing to hide, there are no clandestine meetings and quiet words of love and they began to doubt their own feelings, and everything is almost lost… almost.
This production takes place in the shade of tall trees in the lovely Kings Road Park in West Hollywood Park, with nothing but the charms of wonderful actors, a few props, and some fabulous songs…and yet it works beautifully! absolutely brilliant!
I love open-air theater, and most of the classics have always been performed outdoors, in markets, amphitheaters or open-roofed buildings. And so a period piece like “The Romantics” feels right at home in the leaf-carpeted park with the occasional chatter from a squirrel.
The performances are perfection, each and every one. All players are deeply engaged in the joy of the story and the unique setting among the good people of West Hollywood.
As with all plays performed in parks or anywhere outdoors, the audience is almost as much a part of the story as the play. They contribute to the magic of the moment. The children whispering questions to their mother, the dogs stretching and yawning, the general good humor of those who came to share the space for a while. It’s all part of the experience, and I must say that this little park is a truly glorious performance space.
So try to find a reason not to jog during this last lockdown weekend and be a part of some wonderful live theater. I dare you! Another great advantage of the outdoor theater is that you can eat your picnic and drink your tea and be happy knowing that many squirrels will thank you for your crumbs! Please support these wonderful people and their deep love of theater!
The cast features the talents of Johnny Austen, Maaren Edvard, Carlo Figlio, Maegan McConnell, Katie McKewin, Donald Wayne and Alexander Wells.
The production team includes producers Suzanne Hunt and Alexander Wells, Katie McKewin (assistant director/movement choreographer), and Garth Pillsbury (photographer).
September 11 – 25
Saturdays and Sundays at 3:00 p.m.
FREE – donations welcome
1000 N Reyes Rd. West Hollywood, CA 90069