News Feature

Originally published in Compass, April 10, 2014
Live cabaret returns to Stonington Opera House

Opera House Arts will present a cabaret-in-development production of Goodnight, Nurse: The Most Excellent and Lamentable Tragedy of Romeo and Juliet as Told by Someone Who Was There on Saturday, April 19, at 7 p.m., according to a news release.

Like OHA’s previous Shakespeare cabaret adaptations, Goodnight, Nurse is crafted to tell a familiar Shakespeare story, Romeo and Juliet, from a contemporary perspective, using popular music to advance the adapted narrative. Goodnight, Nurse is written by Peter Lettre, directed by Peter Richards, and features Rachel Murdy alongside special guest, guitarist Orly Bendavid.

In the aftermath of the most famous double suicide in classical literature, Juliet’s nurse is left to pick up the pieces. Like many a contemporary nanny, the nurse is from a different world from the Capulets, and she’s been thrown under the bus after the tragedy of the star-crossed lovers’ deaths. Juliet was like her daughter, and now the nurse must deal with the pain and anger of losing a child who was like her daughter, but to whom she had no rights.

Goodnight, Nurse employs the melodramatic style of grocery store checkout tabloids, as well as the music of Radiohead, Prince, Elton John, Coldplay and more to tell its tragic tale.

The cabaret has been specially crafted to work in conjunction with Opera House Arts’ Shakespeare immersion collaboration with the Deer Isle-Stonington schools. Murdy and Richards will spend three days with island high school students in a workshop employing character development as a tool for adaptation and deep reading of the text, Common Core essential standards. The artists and students will also participate in Discovery Night for the public on Wednesday, April 16.