Askland’s Romeo and Juliet the musical – When Shakespeare meets musical theatre

 

Conrad Askland presents: Romeo and Juliet (The Musical).

When William Shakespeare meets musical theatre.

*Original article on the BandCampDiaries website at: https://thebandcampdiaries.com/post/652902300001714176/conrad-askland-presents-romeo-and-juliet-the

June 2021 – It’s safe to say that Conrad Askland is not your average artist and composer. His creativity transcends “traditional” music release formats, in favor of a broader approach, which touches so many different genres and influences. From pop and uptempo folk-inspired dance music, down to musical theatre and plays, anything goes. Conrad has recently released a brand new project, Romeo and Juliet (The Musical). Any theatre enthusiast will tell you that tacking a Willam Shakespeare work is not easy, especially when it comes to turning such a well-known classic into a musical with a different twist! Thankfully, Conrad really managed to accomplish something amazing with this one, and listeners won’t be disappointed, even those who might not be familiar with the original version of Romeo and Juliet! If anything, this adaptation could be a great incentive for someone to go and pick up the collected works of The Bard! This happens to be Conrad’s third full-length musical theater project, and it still stands out as one of his most distinctive achievements. Although the musical play premiered in 2015, it was released as a full-length Youtube Video over at the artist’s official channel, linked at the bottom of this article.

This amazing project is a perfect example of what it’s like to produce great musical theatre pieces with a focus on great scoring inspired by neoclassical music composers.

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Romeo and Juliet – the musical

For licensing and rights, contact me here on my website.

Romeo and Juliet the musical uses the original English text of William Shakespeare.

    • Romeo and Juliet the musical
    • Book and Music by Conrad Askland
    • Lyrics by William Shakespeare
    • Premiere January 2015
    • Historic Lincoln Theatre, Mount Vernon, WA
    • Presented by META Performing Arts

Video Excerpts from Romeo and Juliet the musical by Conrad Askland

“I Fear Too Early” – Romeo solo song

“Quench the Fire” – Song from the Romeo Juliet Masquerade Ball Dance

Juliet’s Death

Paris at the Tomb

Nurse’s Song from Romeo and Juliet the musical

Music Overture to Romeo and Juliet the musical – (Full length version)

“Come Vial” Juliet solo from Romeo and Juliet the musical

“Go Counselor” Juliet solo from Romeo and Juliet the musical

Bedroom Scene video and music from the Romeo Juliet musical

“I Fear Too Early” Romeo solo from Romeo Juliet musical production

“Come Gentle Night” Juliet solo song from the modern Romeo Juliet musical

“Measure of Thy Joy” Romeo solo song and “They Are But Beggars” Juliet solo song

Romeo and Juliet Meet – The famous Masquerade scene from Romeo and Juliet

If I profane with my unworthiest hand
This shrine the gentle fine is this
My lips, two blushing pilgrims ready stand
To smooth that rough touch with a tender kiss

The Queen Mab speech from Romeo and Juliet

Father I Beseech You – Juliet pleads with her father

“We Are Undone” – Nurse tells Juliet that Romeo has killed Tybalt

I hope these clips reach some educators looking to incorporate Shakespeare with musical theater. I would love to see this production done by a university.

Q&A: Romeo and Juliet rendition questions

These are questions I received about my musical “Romeo and Juliet”. My musical version of RJ premiered in January 2015 at the Historic Lincoln Theatre in Mount Vernon, WA. Directed by Joe Bowen and presented by META Performing Arts. The challenge set for this production was to score the entire musical using only Shakespeare’s original text. No watering down the words. No slang and updated lyrics. And no hipster modern setting. We set the set and costumes to the original Shakespeare time period of the late 16th century. It was a very challenging project and extremely fulfilling. Here’s a link to check out original musicals by Conrad Askland.

How have you adapted the themes of the play to adapt and suit the modern day audience and politics?

Yes and no. In my rendition,  I use Shakespeare’s original words. For the premiere run I requested period costumes and sets (1590’s). Of course, a future company could choose to change that approach, but to me those considerations are superficial. To my personal taste, those changes detract instead of adding to the production. Musically, I scored the show in a combination of North American Broadway style and light opera. So it was the music itself that was tailored to a musical theatre crowd while the text and presentation was true to the period in which it was written.

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Romeo and Juliet the musical – World Premiere January 2015

Romeo & Juliet Premiere poster

Romeo and Juliet the musical will have it’s world premiere January 30 – February 15, 2015 at the Historic Lincoln Theatre in Mount Vernon, WA.

RJ is my largest and most advanced musical score to date and features 10+ live musicians with a cast of 30+. The script and lyrics use only the original source text from William Shakespeare’s original Romeo and Juliet. Our time period is the authentic time period of Shakespeare’s original world premiere of RJ, late sixteenth century (1592-1594).

This work is orchestrated for Key 1, Key 2, Trombone, Horn, Flute/Piccolo/Recorder, Oboe, Clarinet/Bass Clarinet, Drums Bass and Guitar.

In over 400 years, since the original premiere of Romeo and Juliet, there has never been a successful musical rendition that has been embraced by both audiences and theater critics. Artistically this is a momentous challenge as we aim to do just that. We are brave. We are strong. We are RJ 2015. HUZZAH!

Follow our progress at the website for Romeo and Juliet the musical