Alan Paul’s Romeo & Juliet, now playing at the Lansburgh Theater, is well worth seeing. Although this production has its problems, Ayana Workman is the loveliest Juliet I’ve ever seen. From the moment she enters, Workman is so sweet and artless and spirited that your heart aches for her; you want so badly to protect her from all of the pain you know is coming. And you really want to protect her from Romeo.
It seems unintentional, but Andrew Veenstra’s Romeo reminded me of the unemployed twenty-somethings who used to hang out at the food court offering to buy vodka for girls too young to drive. With his sleeveless hoodie, dark sunglasses, and Miley Cyrus haircut, Romeo looks a lot like Justin Bieber. Maybe that explains some of his appeal to Juliet, who is, after all, supposed to be thirteen or fourteen.