EMAV Review: NBT’s ‘Romeo and Juliet’ luxuriously cinematic in scope ★★★★★

★★★★★ - Irresistible

William Shakespeare’s tragedy about star-crossed lovers “Romeo and Juliet” is so familiar that it doesn’t hold many surprises. Most of us know how it ends.

What’s surprising is how fresh the tale feels in the hands of Nevada Ballet Theatre’s Artistic Director James Canfield. His 1989, streamlined choreography of the story ballet, set to the 1935 score of Sergei Prokofiev, closes NBT’s 44th season with an exquisite, visually stunning presentation that cuts straight to the heart of the story by focusing on the joy and devastation of first love. It’s like watching the pages of a Gothic storybook come vividly to life on an almost cinematic scale.

The show opens with a striking stage picture, the tableau. Under sepulchral spotlights performers pose, shifting positions as the voice of a narrator (Scott Coopwood) introduces their characters one by one and also sets a foreboding tone speaking Shakespeare’s introductory prose.

Michelle Meltzer dances Juliet at first with giddy, adolescent energy as she cavorts with her confidant Nurse, played by Krista Baker with clownish charm. Her parents Lord and Lady Capulet, played solemnly by Steven Goforth and Chr