Searching for Romeo is a musical written by Brian Sutton, a Professor of English and Humanistic Studies at the University of Wisconsin – Green Bay. The production takes the classis story of Romeo and Juliet and refocuses the attention onto another couple, Rosaline and Paris. Searching for Romeo was one of the Main Stage productions for UW Green Bay during their 2016 season.
Searching for Romeo is a highly entertaining theatrical piece. There are several songs, as well as lines, that you can’t help but laugh at, and the story is very captivating. It’s a version of Romeo and Juliet you’ve never heard before. I enjoyed songs such as “I Like Drugs” and “I Hate Love/I Love Hate,” as well as the scenes where characters would stop Paris from singing a reprise of his song “An Ordinary Guy Like Me”
At first glance this show appears to be very entertainment driven, however, the more one thinks about the songs and characters the more one is able to connect Searching for Romeo to their own life experiences. For example, in the song “Give Me Love” Roz’s friends are reminding her that she deserves more than a guy who is only willing to love her on his terms. She deserves to be treated with respect, or as the song says, to be treated right. Another good example is the song “And Make a Little Money Too.” While their aren’t many arranged marriages taking place now a days, at least not in the U.S., there are plenty of people who are willing to manipulate others for personal gain. I also think the song “Life After You” has a great message. Young people today often get so wrapped up in their feelings that they allow them to take full control of their lives. This can make for very passionate relationships, and very messy breakups. The song reminds us that a breakup is not actually the end of the world, despite the fact that it may feel that way.
The show is rather entertaining while still commenting on some important issues in our society today. However, I wouldn’t label this as a “family” show. With references to drugs and sexual references this is definitely meant for mature audiences. Click here to see the cast of Searching for Romeo from the University of Wisconsin Green Bay discuss the show in a short video on the university’s YouTube account.