R&J at Intermission

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A few notes on Roméo et Juliette at intermission:

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* Spoleto organizers have stated that the modern setting of Gounod’s opera — a funeral home operated by the Capulet family — isn’t set any any specific time or place, though some observers have suggested both New Jersey and Italy. My guess, looking at the hairstyles and fashions on display, is either late ’60s Las Vegas or the set of Michael Mann’s remake of Miami Vice.

* Chatter from patrons at intermission is overwhelmingly positive: “spectacular,” “the best modern updating of an opera I’ve ever seen,” “amazing staging,” “everything feels like it fits perfectly.”

* Where Don Giovanni has the lead eating from a bucket of KFC, Roméo et Juliette has its lead munching on a bag of Burger King. And smoking a cigarette... Also, the nude Polaroids that get scattered across the floor from DG’s trunk of archived conquests at the Memminger have their equivalent at the Gaillard: a life-sized photo of a very busty woman’s nude torso that Mercutio holds in front of his own chest during his famous Queen Mab scene. Boobs and Spoleto: does it get any more highbrow than this?

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