FringeTastic: 2 Households, 2 Assholes

By Liz Oakley
2th Grade, Brearley School

Do you love Shakespeare, but are tired of drab productions that seem to be recycling the text for the thousandth time? Fear not - 2 Households, 2 Households: Shakespeare's R & J is two-man roller coaster version of Romeo and Juliet. Sam and Aaron Munoz (not related!), have stripped down the play to one hour - and between the two of them, play every single character...it gets a little insane. The logistics of the two-person arrangement make for some rather absurd moments. At several points, one actor stands alone on stage, conversing with two very different versions of himself. The actor who plays both Tybalt and Romeo duels himself (the play is full of well-choreographed fight scenes). Aaron's portrayal of Juliet is simply hilarious - I'd say the show is worth seeing almost just for that. Despite the show's absurdity, it's performed with a lot of heart and conviction. Both actor memorized a solid half-hour of non-stop Shakespearean dialogue. Their versions of the characters are really caricatures, in order to make the story easier for the audience to follow. As a result, they perform in an impressively wide range of styles-- a testament to their talent as actors! And to produce this play, they had to put on even more hats (metaphorical ones-- there are almost no costumes in the production.) As we learned in the talk-back, they adapted the script, choreographed their own fights, and directed themselves. These two men, who have both had classical training, clearly really love Shakespeare, and accomplish just what they set out to do with this piece-- they bring the wonderful story of Romeo and Juliet to audiences in a brand new, no-frills, one-hour way. 2 Households, 2 Households is a MUST SEE for anyone who enjoys the Bard and clever theatrical devices. website