(l to r) Anna Kostakis and Nikita Burshteyn in ‘Romeo and Bernadette.’ (Photo: Russ Roland)
“Do not swear by the moon, for she changes constantly.” One should also not swear by schedules these days as COVID is canceling and closing New York shows with an increased frequency as the Omicron variant runs through the Big Apple. The latest work to fall victim to theatrical delays or cancellations is Romeo & Bernadette: A Musical Tale of Verona and Brooklyn.
“Hard to believe but we must postpone Romeo and Bernadette for the second time,” producer Eric Krebs said in a statement. “Well, Romeo waited 400 years to arrive to Brooklyn in pursuit of his Juliet, now transformed to Bernadette. I guess we will just have to wait another couple of months. My heart goes out to the entire company who has been so supportive and committed to this wonderfully joyous musical. We will just have to share our bliss at a later date.”
This new musical inspired by Shakespeare’s classic first debuted in 2020 at the Mezzanine Theatre at A.R.T./New York and was set to then transfer to Theatre 3 at Theatre Row before the pandemic shuttered theaters across the country. Producers at the head were billing this new production as an “in-town out-of-town engagement” — the musical had eyes on a Broadway run later in the spring.
Recently, the musical had planned to begin previews on February 1, 2022, ahead of an official opening on February 14 at Theater 555. Now, the production will return at a later time, dates not yet announced.
The musical comedy follows Shakespeare’s Romeo as he ends up in 1960 Brooklyn, chasing a girl he believes is his beloved Juliet but who is actually Bernadette, the daughter of a crime family. Romeo & Bernadette is directed and choreographed by Justin Ross Cohen, has a book and lyrics by Mark Saltzman, and music adapted from classic Italian melodies. Anna Kostakis and Nikita Burshteyn will return in the title roles when the production is safe for rehearsing and staging.