*Tony Award nominee Condola Rashad will star opposite Orlando Bloom in a new Broadway run of William Shakespeare’s Romeo and Juliet, but this time the bitter divide between the Montagues and Capulets will be underscored by their different ethnicities.
Five-time Tony nominee David Leveaux will direct the staging, also set to feature Jayne Houdyshell (Follies) as Juliet’s Nurse, and Joe Morton (Raisin) as her father, Lord Capulet, according to The Hollywood Reporter.
The production will begin previews August 24 at the Richard Rodgers Theatre, with official opening set for Sept. 19. Shakespeare’s romantic tragedy was last presented on Broadway in 1977.
The new version will unfold in a modern setting, but will retain the text’s original language.
“Shakespeare did not only write of his world – he imagined ours,” said Leveaux. “The very improbability that two young people might, through their imaginations and their courage, change the world by overcoming the cynical tyranny of division handed down to them by their elders, is the best and happily most improbable reason I can imagine to bring this story to the Broadway stage today.”
Rashad, the daughter of actress Phylicia Rashad and sportscaster Ahmad Rashad, received a Tony nomination in 2012 as best featured actress for her Broadway debut in Stick Fly. Prior to that, she turned heads with her breakout performance Off Broadway in Lynn Nottage’s Pulitzer Prize-winning drama, Ruined.
She will appear this season opposite Cicely Tyson, Vanessa Williams and Cuba Gooding Jr. in The Trip to Bountiful, opening April 23.
Rashad also starred with Queen Latifah and Alfre Woodard in the recent Lifetime remake of “Steel Magnolias.”