Orlando Bloom: Co-starring on Broadway in interracial 'R & J'

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NEW YORK (AP) -- Orlando Bloom and Condola Rashad will star on Broadway this fall in a modern take on William Shakespeare's "Romeo and Juliet," a revival that will add an intriguing element of racial contrast to the classic tale of two star-crossed lovers.

"The last thing we wanted to do was to do a sort of pompous, classic version of ‘Romeo and Juliet,' " said director David Leveaux, a five-time Tony Award nominee. "I'm just taking away all the wallpaper and mantelpieces and try to go as simple as possible."

Producers said Monday that previews at the Richard Rodgers Theatre will begin Aug. 24 with an opening night set for Sept. 19. Tickets will go on sale to the general public on April 8.

The Capulets will be played by black actors and the Montagues by white actors.

Leveaux stressed that the idea of exploring the racial difference between the two feuding Italian families came organically after the casting of the lead actor and actress.

Bloom recently completed filming "Zulu" with Forest Whitaker. Rashad, the daughter of Phylicia Rashad and sportscaster Ahmad Rashad, earned a 2012 Tony nomination for "Stick Fly." She is also in the new Broadway revival of "The Trip to Bountiful" with Cicely Tyson.


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