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Romeo and Juliet is a tragedy written early in the career of playwright William Shakespeare about two young "star-cross'd lovers" whose deaths ultimately unite their feuding families. It was among Shakespeare's most popular plays during his lifetime and, along with Hamlet and Macbeth, is one of his most frequently performed plays. Today, the title characters are regarded as archetypal young lovers.
Shakespeare's star-crossed lovers are brought to life in this full-cast production with sound effects and a musical score. Based on a performance at the 2012 Oregon Shakespeare Festival, this adaptation of the classic play is set in California in the 1840s. It skillfully blends regional accents and expressions into the script, making the dialogue suit the setting. The ensemble cast delivers an expert performance, ably capturing characters and their moods and intentions with nothing but shifts in tone, emphasis, and cadence. Still more impressive, the actors deliver lines in ways that make their meanings clear to listeners even those who have trouble understanding Shakespeare.