Romeo and Juliet, Actors' Shakespeare Project
Bad points: One actor blanked on his lines in an early scene, and had to ad lib a bit to get back on course. Friar Lawrence was played with a *heavy* Spanish accent, damaging both the meter and my ability to understand what he was saying.
* R & J were both young, pretty, and *totally* sold being in love (and comfort with the language). It's the one thing the show absolutely requires, and everything else is gravy.
* Excellent violence design, mostly knife fights, but in a variety of different styles.
* Excellent supporting performances by the Nurse, Mercutio, Tybalt, and a kick-ass female "Benvolia".
* Having "Benvolia" and Mercutio be lovers was really nifty. They didn't change any actual text to do that, just a few scenes suddenly had rather different connotations than usual.
* They actually managed to make Romeo's death scene more horrifying and heartbreaking than any other version I've seen. They had Juliet wake up *as* Romeo was delivering his final kiss, not the traditional just-afterwards. A very simple change, but hugely impactful. You see the horror fading from Romeo's eyes with his life, and Juliet's relief at being reunited quickly shade into confusion and then horror of her own. If I ever direct this show, I'm totally stealing that timing.
The show just opened, and runs through November 3rd. Highly recommended.