Orlando Bloom’s Broadway debut receives mixed reviews

Orlando Bloom’s Broadway debut has received mixed reviews from critics. The Pirates of the Caribbean star took his New York theatre bow opposite Condola Rashad in a modern-day depiction of Shakespeare’s Romeo and Juliet on Thursday (19Sep13), and while his performance has received positive marks, the production falls short for many reviewers.
The New York Times writer Ben Brantley praises Bloom and Rashad’s chemistry, but calls David Leveaux’s production “lopsided”.
He writes, “When these doomed lovers first set eyes on each other, it’s so obvious that they’re a matched set – and that they know it – that the whole world seems to stand still in deference.
“Though the kiss they subsequently share is long and deep, it doesn’t feel like the product of teenage lust. The chemistry is less erotic than aesthetic.”
David Rooney of The Hollywood Reporter commends Bloom’s “confident debut,” and adds “his early classical training is evident in the ease and conviction he brings to the language. He conveys the idea of Romeo as an impassioned idealist too naïve to see the intransigence of the society into which he was born.”
However he adds the production’s “contemporary trappings never quite amount to a distinctive edge”.