Hearts and Letters

Theatre Britain's The Day After the Fair: love's masquerade on page and stage

Terry McCracken provides crackerjack comic relief as sister-in-law Letty. Here is a veteran actress who measures timing in milliseconds, never one word too slow or too quick. She was hilarious in Theatre Britain's No Sex, Please--We're British, and even in a Thomas Hardy vehicle, hardly written as a laugh riot, she's just as funny.

Nice touches from scenic designer Darryl Clement, who sets the Harnhams' formal drawing room atop a circular stage. Hanging from gilded ropes around the back are oil paintings of horses, the sort of hunt-club artwork that immediately says British and upper class. In the context of Fair, it also suggests a carousel, as does the original incidental music by Christopher George. A nice ride indeed.


The short run of Collin County Community College's Romeo and Juliet: A Hip-Hop Tragedy, June 22-27, precludes a full review next week. But even if the idea of hearing Shakespeare delivered in hip-hop rhythms strikes some of us as a drizzle i-dizzle, fo' shizzle, this one might be worth catching for the return to the Quad C stage of young actor Brian J. Smith, star of the college's remarkable production of A Clockwork Orange in 2002.
Anna (Lauren N. Goode, upper left) is the illiterate housemaid; Charles Bradford (Jack Birdwell) is her lover. But Edith (Sue Birch) writes the love letters that lure him.
Anna (Lauren N. Goode, upper left) is the illiterate housemaid; Charles Bradford (Jack Birdwell) is her lover. But Edith (Sue Birch) writes the love letters that lure him.

Now a student at the Juilliard School of Drama, Smith is back home in Allen for the summer. Leaner and taller than he was as a Quad C undergrad--a result, he reports, of Juilliard's strenuous physical training in the spine-stretching Alexander Technique--Smith is taking on the role of Romeo despite his Juilliard professors' warnings not to do any acting "outside the program." Don't worry, Brian, we won't tell.

Romeo and Juliet: A Hip-Hop Tragedyis adapted and directed by Matt Tomlanovich. For ticket info, call 972-881-5100.

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