Juliet's Chamber In Juliet's world, the role of the Nurse is an important part of the story. Both Amy Milano and Erikka Reenstierna-Cates gave superlative performances as the bubbly character. Amy Milano strutted about the stage with vivacious flair. She brought a touch of subtle comedy that was appropriate and gave the Nurse a well rounded performance. Erikka Reenstierna-Cates brought her sense of comic timing without over doing it, giving the Nurse a wonderful air of care and love. As the young Juliet both Nicole Firpo and Alyssa Milano gave the audience a beautiful performance, embodying the youth of the character with mischievousness and vitality. Firpo's progression into the Ballroom Scene was solid in interpretation. Her character development has grown with her maturity and experience in the role. Yet Firpo always keeps a sense wonder in every role she handles. Milano's first venture into the role of Juliet was formidable. Her passion for detail showed admirably. Quite tall for the role, Milano managed to use her statuesque good looks to her advantage. Using every inch of her lines, the young ballerina made every scene count in her first performance as Juliet.
Mercurial Mercutio - Benevolent Benvolio Brandon Phelps's return to the role of Mercutio was nothing short of spectacular. The ease with which he danced and acted about the stage was highly professional and charismatic. Phelps's generosity in relating to his colleagues on stage was also obvious in that any of the characters he shared a scene with got a wealth of stage craft to react upon. These end of season performances are by far Brandon Phelps's very best. His death scene paralleled the tragic undercurrents of Prokofiev's score to perfection. Phelps's care for his art has never been more compelling. As Mercutio, he dominated his scenes with humor and confidence. Not to be outdone as Mercutio, Nathan Champion's Sunday performance was electrifying both on a technical level and dramatically. With great bursts of energy, Champion elevated each of his scenes to excitement as he bounced around the stage. His dancing was agile and quick. His death scene also kept the audience on the edge of their seat. Champion's end of season performance spoke volumes about his potential as a headliner. As the Saltimbanco lead on Friday, Champion delighted the audience with air born jumps and twirling moves. The role of Benvolio was solely handled by Brian Leonard. The young lead dancer showed off each of his partners to perfection. Handling many top CWB ballerinas, such as Elizabeth Campbell, Cerissa Urry, Kylie Welch and Gabrielle Barton, Leonard displayed sound partnering abilities combined with care and attention to each partner. As solo work goes, Leonard was unmatched, pulling in for multiple turns and high jumps. His own sense of acting as well as his natural movement also showed all the potential for a versatile artist and technician. Leonard is well on his way to accomplish himself as a lead male dancer.
Star Studded Supporting Cast
Like so many all star movies, Central West Ballet's production of Romeo and Juliet gathered all its leading dancers into one group that is hard to beat. As Alessandra (a Montague role created for this version of the ballet), Sarah Weaver was powerful in her scenes and her confident use of swordsmanship was impressive. Her exquisite dancing with Brandon Phelps's Mercutio showed once more how Weaver has established herself as a major Principal Dancer within the Company. A great talent who could have taken on any lead roles in Romeo and Juliet, it is also easy to see why Weaver had a banner year at Central West Ballet. She has become a true leader in versatility and dramatic potential. Another headlining talent who's range could have included any of the top roles in Romeo and Juliet was Elease Stice. As Morgana, Stice performed brilliantly, displaying power and subtlety in a role that was developed and augmented to great satisfaction. With slender looks and beauty, her appeal was never lost even with the stern demands of her character. Stice's mad scene as Morgana when Tybalt dies was spellbinding, her defined gestures convincing and her emotions resonating with genuineness. As Alessandra, Stice turned to overdrive in bringing the role to life, lighting up the stage with fiery spirit and lovely movements
Romeo & Juliet 2012 - Full Review, Part 2 By CWB OFFICE
RENÉ DAVELUY ~ ARTISTIC DIRECTOR