Romeo & Bernadette

SYNOPSIS

You just thought he was dead! Romeo, that is. No, he didn’t die when he drank that poison at the end of ROMEO AND JULIET. Because it wasn’t poison at all; just a sleeping potion that put him out for a few centuries.

And when Romeo awakens, he finds himself in 1960 Brooklyn, chasing a girl he believes is his beloved Juliet. But no, it’s not Juliet—it’s Bernadette, the beautiful, sassy daughter of a local mobster.

Romeo finds himself aligned with the rival crime family and... poor Romeo! It seems he's got what the therapists would call, “a pattern.”

But unlike Shakespeare’s account of the tale, ROMEO AND BERNADETTE barrels along with dames, dons and dizzy comedy to a happy ending, accompanied by some of the world’s most recognizable Italian melodies, famous from movies, television and many, many pizzerias.

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Winner of Four PHILSTAGE Awards 2009

  • Outstanding Musical Production – Repertory Philippines’ Romeo & Bernadette
  • Outstanding Ensemble Performance in a Musical Production – The Cast of Repertory Philippines’ Romeo & Bernadette
  • Outstanding Female Lead Performance in a Musical – Cris Villonco
  • Outstanding Male Lead Performance in a Musical – PJ Valerio

Nominated for SEVEN Florida Carbonell Awards
World Premiere production, Coconut Grove Playhouse

  • Best New Work - Play or Musical
  • Best Production of a Musical
  • Best Direction of a Musical – Mark Waldrop
  • Best Actor in a Musical – Andy Karl
  • Best Actress in a Musical – Natalie Hill
  • Best Musical Direction – Bruce Coyle
  • Best Supporting Actor in a Musical – John Paul Almon

VARIETY - Jack Zink

Seldom, if ever, since Little Mary Sunshine or Dames at Sea, has a musical spoof-orama chased its subjects with as much silly abandon as Romeo and Bernadette. A deliriously schmaltzy pastiche... folds vintage standards into the musical theater fabric as swooningly as Robert Wright and George Forrest’s Kismet. Proudly lowbrow, shamelessly cute, politically incorrect, retro-hip and basically adorable.

GANNETT PAPERS (NJ) - Charles Paolino

The book is well written, bawdy and extraordinarily funny... a stunning all-male sextet ends the first act with a thrill... Adam Monley is charming as the sweet and often befuddled Romeo. Natalie Hill is a bundle of fun as the coarse Brooklynite, but she is a touching figure too, as she reveals the young woman’s underlying desire for true love. It’s an unusual concept – juxtaposing the nutty script with a series of rich musical performances – but it works.

NEW YORK TIMES (NJ edition) - Neil Genzlinger

Hilariously perfect...Mr. Saltzman gets good comic mileage out of the stranger-in-a-strange land conceit...it is a well-worn gimmick and it is to Mr. Saltzman’s credit that he makes it fresh. ...Mr. Karl makes his part memorable. In fact, he steals the show. David Brummel as Dino’s father and...the wonderfully named Lips, a bodyguard, are also pleasures to watch.

BERGEN RECORD (NJ) - Jim Beckerman

Romeo and Bernadette hits your eye like a big pizza pie. It’s big, loud, lowbrow, silly, and just about irresistible. You’ve got to hand it to Mark Saltzman who wrote it, Mark Waldrop who directed and all the rest of the delightful cast who against all odds keep this musical comedy mismatch of Romeo and Juliet and The Sopranos fresh and funny...Not only does Saltzman have a knack for rhymes, he’s also pretty inventive with dialogue. Throughout, he wrings the most from the collision between 16th century Italy and 20th century Flatbush. Mark Waldrop has directed this mélange at a slambang pace. You hardly know what’s hit – or whacked – you.

MIAMI HERALD - Christine Dolen

All that Mark Saltzman’s fizzy new musical at the Coconut Grove Playhouse needs is a Broadway booking, and pronto. Romeo and Bernadette is the kind of highflying drum-tight musical comedy – emphasis on the comedy – that Broadway producers spend many years and millions of dollars trying to create. Impeccably cast, artfully crafted and directed with maestro-like flair by Mark Waldrop, the show is, as promised, a kind of Romeo and Juliet meets The Sopranos by way of Guys and Dolls romp... Saltzman who wrote the script and wed fresh lyrics to classic Italian melodies is a veteran whose seasoned craftsmanship pays off big time... Romeo and Bernadette is a feast for the ears.

NEWARK STAR-LEDGER - Peter Filichia

How fitting that Romeo and Bernadette...should conclude with a wedding. For Mark Saltzman’s musical offers something old, something new, something borrowed and something blue. What’s old and borrowed is the music. Saltzman has taken classic Italian melodies or yore –most of which theatergoers won’t be able to name, but will recognize the moment they hear them. All of them work wonderfully well... The cast is pound for pound the most talented that Paper Mill has put on its stage in recent years, especially because each performer is blessed with a glorious voice and has ample opportunity to prove it... Mark Waldrop keeps the show moving at a remarkably rapid pace... Romeo and Bernadette brings theatergoers characters who are second cousins to those in Tony and Tina’s Wedding...Saltzman just might have a show that runs as long.

NEWS RECORD (NJ) - Bill Van Sant

But soft! What light through yonder window breaks? It is the east and Romeo and Bernadette is the sun!….Mark Waldrop’s touch with comedy is evident throughout, setting up the pay-offs with precision and efficiency…Stand out numbers include “A World Away” with its beautiful harmonies, the rapturous company number “Moonlight Tonight Over Brooklyn” and “Bernadette,” the exciting and amusing Act I finale.

INDEPENDENT PRESS (NJ) - Liz Keill

Where has Romeo and Bernadette been hiding? Termed “A Brooklyn Musical” this light-hearted romp is keeping audiences in stitches at the Paper Mill Playhouse...it’s all great fun and it works like a charm.

TWO RIVER TIMES (NJ) - Philip Dorian

The melodies stay in your head as does the smile on your face long after the amusing show is over. I enjoyed Romeo and Bernadette as much for its irreverent wit as for its lovely music.

DAILY RECORD (NJ) - Debra Scacciaferro

Frothy romantic comedy laced with Brooklyn patois and a charming score of familiar Neapolitan songs...has the same goofy charm as A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the Forum and Grease.

MORRISTOWN RECORD (NJ) - Meredith Napolitano

The show definitely has Broadway potential...Andy Karl evoked the images of a young Frank Sinatra as he brilliantly and charismatically sang “Boom in Love” to the confused Romeo...Whadda I gotta do, spell it out for ya’s? Fou-gedd-aboudit, it’s not to be missed!

MUSICALS101.COM - John Kenrick

There’s an nifty bit of hilarity cutting loose in the New Jersey countryside involving Sopranos-style mobsters, Shakespearean romance and some dazzling melodies thrown in for the heck of it. If you’re looking for some fresh musical comedy fun, look no further than Paper Mill’s delightful production of Romeo and Bernadette, the most unlikely good time I’ve had in many a night at the theater. With musical comedies back in vogue on Broadway, this is too good a show to ignore. ...I found myself smiling that goofy smile I get whenever I find myself falling in love with a new show.

MANILA STANDARD - Deni Rose M. Afinidad

In Romeo & Bernadette, the potion for success is made up of wonderfully blending choruses, good live quartet melody, whirlwind backdrop changes, and of course, witty but suggestive lines and gestures....candy for the eyes and ears.

MANILA TIMES - Rome Jorge

...Effortless humor and charm...in a season of must-sees such as Rent and Cats, Repertory Philippines’ Romeo & Bernadette is up there with the best of them.

BUSINESS WEEK (International) - Juan Antonio Lanuza

...turns the most famous love story into a contemporary love story that will please all...hilarious...

MONTCLAIR TIMES (NJ) - Thom Molyneaux

Adam Monley as Romeo would have a hit single in the lovely ballad “O, For a Song” if we still lived in an age when hit singles came from Broadway musicals….“Bernadette” a sextet sung at the end of the first act is a rousing, show-stopping finale. “One Tender Word” a duet by Adam Monley and Andy Karl and “When He Looked at Me That Way” sung by Natalie Hill and Rosie De Candia harmonizes into a song medley and a vocal quartet that is not only show-stopping but heart-stoppingly beautiful.

SUN-SENTINEL (FL) - Jack Zink

What a hoot! The new musical comedy (and we do mean comedy) at the Coconut Grove Playhouse goes slumming with William Shakespeare’s most famous romantic tragedy and comes up smelling like marinara sauce. Romeo and Bernadette is a modern fusion of the Bard’s so-sad Romeo and Juliet and the wacky world of Guys and Dolls with a smidgen of The Sopranos sprinkled on top.