Cast Recording

Cast Recording: People V Friar Laurence: Killed Romeo Juliet / O.S.T.

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Product Type: CD
Artist: Cast Recording

Artist: Cast Recording
Title: People V Friar Laurence: Killed Romeo Juliet / O.S.T.
Product Type: COMPACT DISCS

To retell the most famous love story of all time, The People vs. Friar Laurence, the Man Who Killed Romeo and Juliet, uses a simple formula: Murder + Teenage Angst + Political Intrigue + a Crisis of Faith = Musical Comedy. Part whodunnit, part Second City style satire, this show delivers a resounding comic punch. If you want to see Romeo & Juliet, it's probably playing at high school near you. If you want to see a musical, Cameron MacIntosh will take your money. But if you want to see Romeo & Juliet, hear great music, and laugh your ass off, see The People vs. Friar Laurence, the Man Who Killed Romeo and Juliet. Ron West helms this fantastic show. Virtually Second City royalty, Ron recently won Chicago's prestigious Jeff Award for directing Curious George Goes to War at the Second City ETC. In Amsterdam, he shepherded the cast of Boom Chicago in Europe, We Created a Monster. In LA, when he wasn't playing his recurring role on Third Rock From the Sun, or serving as a consultant to Whose Line Is It, Anyway? Ron has directed several projects for L.A. Theatreworks and The Open Fist Theatre Company. Phil Swann is a staff songwriter and producer for DreamWorks SKG. Most recently you heard two Swann songs on MCA recording artist Lee Ann Womack's critically acclaimed holiday album entitled, 'A Season For Romance'. Also look for another Swann composition to appear on Lee Greenwood's up-coming release, 'Stronger Than Time'. Mr. Swann currently sits on the board of directors of The Songwriters guild of America. RECENT CHICAGO REVIEWS COPLEY NEWS SERVICE - 5/21/04 The People vs. Friar Laurence, The Man Who Killed Romeo and Juliet Review by Dan Zeff The new production at the Upstairs Theatre at the Chicago Shakespeare Theatre is called 'The Second City's Romeo and Juliet Musical: The People Vs. Friar Laurence, the Man Who Killed Romeo and Juliet.' That's a pretty ponderous title for what is certainly the funniest new show of the season. What kind of evening is this 'Romeo and Juliet'? Conjure up Shakespeare meeting Second City with a dash of Stan Freberg for garnish. Remain faithful to the storyline of 'Romeo and Juliet' but insert Barney Fyfe as a town constable and transfer the wedding scene of the young lovers to an outtake of 'Our Town.' The show never let's up on the facetious factor, like injecting references to Paris Hilton and former governor Ryan. Spectators will detect quotes or references to virtually every play in the Shakespeare canon. Topping off the evening is a musical score as clever as you'll hear this side of Stephen Sondheim. The show is built on the conceit that Friar Laurence is accused of responsibility for the deaths of Romeo and Juliet and is put on trial by the Prince of Verona. The trial is an excuse for an unending cascade of hilarious songs, name-droppings, sight gags, and running jokes. The friar turns out to be a randy old gentleman, though not as lecherous as Juliet's father, Lord Capulet. There is some gender swapping, a delicious flow of ribald humor, and a visit from God at the end of the show. Co-authors Ron West and Phil Swann must have worn out a rhyming dictionary coming up with the nonstop ingenious lyrics for the show's vast number of songs. The two stop at nothing to squeeze in one more giggle into the proceedings and yet the show never turns silly, self-congratulatory, or self-indulgent in it's comedy. It may be a touch too long, but I'd hate to be responsible for cutting even one delectable scene or song from the evening. This 'Romeo and Juliet' is not only great comedy, it's pretty good Shakespeare. West and Swann follow the original tragedy closely, at least in narrative, and inject all kinds of in jokes that will delight Shakespeare fans. One number in particular stands out for it's ingenuity. Romeo and Juliet sing a duet called 'We're the Ones Who Started It All,' in which they rhapsodize about all the famous romantic couples in history who got their start from these star-crossed lovers, down to Ashton Kutcher and Demi Moore. For two hours, the level of energy and invention never flags. That's a tribute to West and Swann, and the versatile and talented cast, who clearly have bought into the show wholeheartedly and are having the time of their lives. Romeo is played by Keegan-Michael Key, the backbone of those brilliant Second City E.T.C. revues of recent seasons. Key should lower the decibel count a bit, possibly the only blemish in the ensemble performance. Nicole Parker's Juliet is very much a young woman of today, and none of this nonsense about Daddy picking her future husband. Bruce Green resembles a gnome out of 'The Lord of the Rings' as the salty Friar Laurence. Ron West does double duty as co-author and as Lord Capulet, a man staking a claim to every serving wench in sight. David Castellani makes a wonderful blowhard Mercutio. Brian Gallivan is a hoot as the slow-witted servant Gregory. Rick Hall is a splendidly self involved Paris. Lauren Bishop takes on a bunch of roles, including the servant girls who put themselves at Lord Capulet's service. Roberta Duchak plays Lady Capulet like a character out of 'Dallas' or 'Peyton Place.' The music accompaniment is provided by pianist Lisa McQueen, who was thoroughly enjoying herself playing in one corner of the stage. The shows functional and often funny physical look is provided by Heather Graff and Richard Peterson (sets and lighting) and Alison Siple (costumes). Ron West completes his personal trifecta in the show as director as well as co-author and co-star. This 'Romeo and Juliet' put me in mind of another Shakespeare spoof called 'Bombitty of Errors,' which had a lengthy Off-Broadway run and two successful visits to Chicago. That show was good, but this one is better. The show gets a rating of four stars. Wherefore art thou, Romeo? To make us laugh at Navy Pier May 21, 2004 BY MARY HOULIHAN Chicago Sun-Times Staff Reporter Chicago Shakespeare Theater, known for it's smart, respectful productions of the Bard's work, has in past summers shown a sense of humor by using it's upstairs theater for stagings of the 'The Bomb-itty of Errors' and Second City's 'Hamlet! The Musical.' Now add to this list another hilarious romp through Shakespeare's world that takes a decidedly wacky look at the story of those infamous star-crossed lovers. The unwieldy title of this hysterical spoof -- 'The Second City's Romeo and Juliet Musical: The People vs. Friar Laurence, the Man Who Killed Romeo and Juliet' -- says it all. Yes, a hapless Friar Laurence, who dispensed the deadly potions, is on the hot seat as he tries to explain his role in the demise of Romeo and Juliet. Locked in a cell with Prince Escalus, he puts his creative spin on the story as the nine-member cast acts out his winding tale. As it turns out, even in 16th century Verona, giving a coma-inducing drug to a 14-year-old is not a wise move. Creators Ron West and Phil Swann vigorously attack the elements of Shakespeare's story, loosing the Bard's words and adding a blizzard of laugh-inducing moments that ramp up the original story line. This is a land of witty songs, wacky characterizations and silly modern references that fit together like warped pieces of a very old puzzle. Except for a drawn-out ending that could use some tightening, nothing was out of place. In the role of Juliet, Nicole Parker, a regular on Fox's 'MADtv,' is a delight to watch. A subtle comedian of bottomless talent with a Broadway-quality voice, her grasp of comic timing is impeccable. She inhabits each song with a willful comedic power that sparkles and shines. The gangly Keegan-Michael Key, also a member of the 'MADtv' cast, is a sad-sack Romeo pining over a lost love. He comes to life with a vengeance when he spots Juliet. This is a Romeo who puzzles over his Shakespeare-speaking friend Mercutio and admits, 'I get the Cliffs Notes. I do what I can.' With the cast dressed in modern clothes, this 'Romeo and Juliet' may look like a typical Sec

Tracks:
1.1 Opening (It's a Beautiful Day in Verona)
1.2 Trouble
1.3 See Other People
1.4 True Love to Me
1.5 It's a Pity You're Not Me
1.6 Hello, Drink Up (Includes: I Want to Kill Him ; Use Each Other T
1.7 Why Wherefore Art Thou
1.8 What a Pity I'm Dead
1.9 Friar Laurence's Fault
1.10 Take My Ring
1.11 You Understand
1.12 The Ones Who Started It All
1.13 It's a Beautiful Day for a Wedding
1.14 O Woe
1.15 The Score / Friar's Prayer
1.16 Thank You for Dying First
1.17 Finale
1.18 Encore

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