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Review: 'Romeo and Juliet' by Cardinal

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3 stars

Cardinal Stage Company; directed by Randy White; through March 6 at the John Waldron Arts Center, Bloomington.

I’ve been wanting to see Cardinal in action. Formed in 2006, this Bloomington theater company has drawn plenty of attention — from audiences, of course, but also from quality Indy- and Chicago-based actors wanting to strut on its stage.

Now I understand why, with their current production of Romeo and Juliet. A thrust stage creates a three-quarter audience setting so you can see the play AND your fellow audience member, as s/he smiles, sniffs and also ducks the occasional dollop of spittle from one of the exuberant actors.

Production values are high, the performances are fun and raucous (the first act, at least, is, thanks to an ebullient turn by Ian Paul Custer as Mercutio), and the acting level is generally excellent.

For more: 812-323-3020, www.cardinalstage.org.

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