Either you’re here because you haven’t seen Melbourne’s best musical, “& Juliet,” and need to know what all the hype is about, or you’re back because you’re one of the many who simply can’t get enough of the hilarious, feel-good stage show.
We’ve covered the joyful empowerment and the upgraded, modern re-telling of the “Romeo & Juliet” story. We’ve gone through the, frankly, incredible soundtrack – but have we told you how funny, heart-warming and life-affirming this production is from start to finish?
Reports of staff having to pick giggling and dancing patrons up from the aisles haven’t been overstated here. Schitt’s Creek co-creator David West Read’s satirical prowess is as masterful as ever, frequently zigging where others would… not.
So, here are the five funniest and feel-good moments from “& Juliet”.
The New Romeo
Romeo may not be in the title of this belter of a show, but he’s certainly a part of it, just perhaps not quite in the way Shakespeare first imagined.
His golden one-liners after he comes back from the dead are part of what helps transform this once-tragedy into an all-encompassing comedy.
“All I’ve ever been is a sexy young man with a tight body, and a lot of feelings,” he says in one scene.
“I’ve always been more of a lover than a fighter. I also have terrible upper body strength,” he reveals in another.
Plus, there’s the moments we realise he might not quite be an intellectual of Shakespearean or, indeed, modern times, with “I have some things I want to talk, from my mouth”, and “You want to cut me into little stars? Like, with a knife?”
Since You’ve Been Gone
This iconic post break-up song, originally performed by powerhouse Kelly Clarkson, again takes on a whole meaning in this production, but even with the epic plot twist, it is in very safe hands with Lorinda May Merrypor’s Juliet.
Juliet belts this out to Romeo when she realises he’s not actually dead, backed up by her chorus girls.
It’s the ultimate musical moment of the show, which has everyone laughing and singing along as they imagine how iconic it would be if they could sing this to one of their former lovers (especially if they had the unmatched talent of Lorinda May Merrypor, Casey Donovan and the rest of the cast).
Where There’s a Will, There’s a Way
And who could forget William Shakespeare himself?
Rob Mills is in full flight in this role, constantly dropping puns which are, admittedly, terrible, but also hilarious.
If Shakespeare isn’t quoting himself to the audience, he’s dramatically pausing and giving the audience his best ‘blue steel’ after saying the word “Shakespeare” at any point.
It’s self aware, it’s silly and it slaps.
Romeo’s Other Juliets
At Romeo’s funeral, Juliet finds out that Romeo had many other relationships, with both men and women.
This revelation is played for laughs, as the audience and Juliet herself realise the absurdity of her throwing it all away for a bloke who had a whole roster.
The scene is also a commentary on the double standards of relationships, and how they are perceived differently based on gender and sexuality.
The Entire Backstreet Boys Performance
One of the standout moments of the show is the performance of the Backstreet Boys’ hit song “I Want It That Way”.
The boyband is hilariously reimagined as a group of travelling minstrels, and their over-the-top performance is a riot of glitter and choreography.
What’s more, this isn’t just a laugh machine, it’s a dancing-not-optional situation. You won’t be disappointed.
“& Juliet” is now playing at Melbourne’s Regent Theatre and must close July 29. Tickets are available through Ticketek.