Review: Romeo and Juliet at Freefall Stages

Showtimes: Sat 8pm, Sun 8pm; Through 8/4; $10-$15; Freefall Stage, 411 Stafford Street in Folsom; (916) 207-4420;
Rated 3.0

Sharks and Jets, Montagues and Capulets, Family A and Family B. The best romances are the ones set in the midst of two clans warring over an ancient grudge that no one remembers. Shakespeare did it best in Romeo and Juliet, the infamous tale of star-crossed lovers torn between passion and loyalty, ultimately fated to die in each other’s arms.

Now in its 18th season, Freefall Stage puts on an outdoor production of the timeless tragedy at the Folsom Gazebo, located behind the Folsom Public Library. Casey Campbell and Ingrid Alexandra play Romeo and Juliet, respectively.

Performers rotate seamlessly around the front of the stage, their exits and entrances signifying the change of time and place. They make good use of the space during sword duels and impassioned speeches, sometimes even stumbling into the front row.

Some of the costuming lacks cohesion—where Lady Capulet dons a colorful gown and feathered headpiece, others opt for the comfort of jeans. It’s a choice that doesn’t completely take away from the performances, but does seem out of place. Additionally, a few performers fail to project, making it difficult to hear some of the dialogue.

Despite this, some standout performances are procured under the direction of Brennan Villados. Wesley Murphy explodes onstage as the facetious Mercutio, and Phil Ryder makes an impression as the gentle, flute-wielding Friar Laurence.