James McMenamin and Mia Vallet in
Ashville; image © Sandra Coudert  

To reverse baseball manager Casey Stengel, “Can’t anybody here game this play?” The play is Romeo and Juliet, which I cannot remember having seen a competent professional production of in New York. Two summers ago, we had the Royal Shakespeare Company’s shockingly amateurish version, and now Broadway is enduring a very similar performance of the play that is only slightly less appalling, defective in everything from its conception to its casting. Aspiring theater producers might want to consider that if they insist upon casting age-inappropriate members of Pirates of the Caribbean in the role of Romeo,...


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