Review: 'Romeo and Juliet' by Cardinal

Ian Paul Custer's turn as Mercutio is enthralling.

3 stars

Cardinal Stage Company; directed by

Randy White; through March 6 at the John Waldron Arts Center,

Bloomington.

I’ve been wanting to see Cardinal

in action. Formed in 2006, this Bloomington theater company has drawn

plenty of attention — from audiences, of course, but also from

quality Indy- and Chicago-based actors wanting to strut on its stage.

Now I understand why, with their

current production of Romeo and Juliet. A thrust stage creates

a three-quarter audience setting so you can see the play AND your

fellow audience member, as s/he smiles, sniffs and also ducks the

occasional dollop of spittle from one of the exuberant actors.

Production values are high, the

performances are fun and raucous (the first act, at least, is, thanks

to an ebullient turn by Ian Paul Custer as Mercutio), and the acting

level is generally excellent.

For more: 812-323-3020, www.cardinalstage.org.

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