Taking a page from Tom Stoppard’s Rosencrantz and Guildenstern Are Dead, actor-playwright Stan Peal focuses on two more of Shakespeare’s other supporting characters—this time from Romeo and Juliet. As Peal imagines it, the friar and the nurse are in the midst of a love affair as fiery and forbidden as that of their teenage charges. With his chin-length chestnut hair and full beard, Peal has a mellow, avuncular presence onstage. He’s a theologically uncertain hippie-type who took the cloth to escape his past, not to serve God. For her part, Laura Depta, the red-cheeked, plump and matronly nurse, adds a slightly manic edge to counterbalance any inherent cliches. If you’re surprised how well these two play off each other, take note: They’re husband and wife in real life. But while the Bard would most likely approve of the casting, he might not be as impressed with Peal’s anachronistic script. Many of the sit-com asides —like a wisecrack about Catholic guilt—distract from rather than enliven the appealing central conceit.
The Friar and the Nurse
By Stan Peal
The Players Loft
Sat, Aug 13 at 5:45 p.m.; Sun, Aug 14 at 9:15 p.m.; Tue, Auf 16 at 7 p.m.; Wed, Aug 17 at 5 p.m.; Fri, Aug 19 at 9 p.m.; Sat, Aug 20 at 2:15 p.m.