Come on, Mr Shakespeare. Did Juliet really have to die in that tragic play of yours?
A new musical that dramatizes a not-so-star-crossed screenplay for one of the most famous young lovers is coming to Broadway.
“& Juliet” – the title is a play on “Romeo and Juliet” – features pop songs by Swedish hitmaker Max Martin, best known for his collaborations with Britney Spears, Backstreet Boys and Katy Perry.
The musical began life in Manchester, England, in 2019, then was transferred to London, where reviews were mixed but audiences raved, and is still going strong. A North American production is now running in Toronto and will be transferred to Broadway, where previews will begin October 28 and open at the Stephen Sondheim Theater November 17.
The score consists of pop songs, many of which are quite famous, including “Since U Been Gone”, “Roar”, “…Baby One More Time”, “Larger Than Life”, “That’s the Way It Is” and ” Can’t Stop the Feeling!”
The show’s comedy book, which features a variety of romantic entanglements, is by David West Read (“Schitt’s Creek”); the director is Luke Sheppard. In addition to writing the songs, Martin leads the production team, which also includes Tim Headington, Theresa Steele Page, Jenny Petersson (Martin’s wife), Martin Dodd and Eva Price.
The cast includes Lorna Courtney as Julia; Stark Sands (a two-time Tony nominee for “Journey’s End” and “Kinky Boots”) will play Shakespeare; Betsy Wolfe plays his wife, Anne Hathaway; and Paulo Szot (a Tony winner for “South Pacific”) play a character named Lance.