Cold Cream

You get Romeo and Juliet plus two more fortunate couples, Vince and Sarah and Alan and Faith, all for free on the grass of Turner Park at Midtown Crossing. And Will Shakespeare himself sets the scene for this 75-minute version of the star-crossed lovers. Vincent Carlson-Brown and Sarah Carlson-Brown, veterans of the Nebraska Shakespeare educational tour and wedded bliss, are joined in the cast by two newlyweds, Alan Bircks who plays Will and other roles, and Faith Fossett who plays Juliet. All four are homegrown talents, the Carlson-Browns from the University of Nebraska at Omaha, the other pair from Nebraska Wesleyan. Vince and Sarah recently appeared in Twelfth Night for Utah Shakespeare. He’s the Prince, Friar and Mercutio; she’s the nurse and Tybalt. After a preview performance Thursday at Creighton University, the troupe does three Midtown shows with 6 p.m. performances on Friday and Saturday following music by the Brass Quartet at 5:15 p.m. Their opening weekend concludes with a 2 p.m. offering Sunday, Oct. 3. The following week the company travels to these schools: Marian High, Fremont, Benson, Omaha North, Monroe Middle School and Boys Town before moving later to Lincoln and Bellevue, then to Cozad and Kearney before completing Nebraska Shakespeare’s 24th season. A. Bryan Humphrey, based in Seattle, returns to direct the touring production after guiding the summer festival’s offering of Romeo and Juliet in his third season with Nebraska Shakespeare. It’s the fifth year for the educator-artists to visit schools. His cast isn’t all married couples. It includes Matt King, another UNO grad in his fourth year with Nebraska Shakespeare, who plays the title’s tragic hero. He plans to pursue acting in Los Angeles after the tour. Danielle Smith plays Dame Capulet, this version’s variation on Lord Capulet, and serves as assistant director. She has experience at both UNO and Northern Colorado, where she worked as assistant director for Pericles, Hamlet and Trojan Women. The biggest change in this shorter treatment has Will working on the writing of the play until his characters come to life. Birks, who trained at the Globe Theater in London, plays the imaginative bard. The troupe not only shares wedding vows and university ties, but Sarah Carlson-Brown and Faith Fossett have both played Desdemona, which probably means they think of Othello whenever anyone puts out the lights. — Warren Francke Cold Cream looks at theater in the metro area. Email information to coldcream@thereader.com.

posted at 09:45 pm
on Thursday, September 30th, 2010

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