White Shirt Monday: Romeo Rizzoli

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[No amount of barbie dolls will make this picture any less gay. – Anna Sohn (Giulietta) and Franziska Rabl (Romeo), looking for all purposes as if the grand “Rizzoli & Isles” finale will be Jane marrying the returned-from-the-dead Senior Criminalist Susie Chang, who has gotten contacts and hair extensions on the other side, but still frowns just the same. And just like that show, this production is totally straight. Riight. – Bellini’s “I Capuleti e i Montecchi” staged by Ultz for Landestheater Niederbayern/Passau 2015.]

Today, for White Shirt Monday: How queer is your Lens?

Watch the trailer below and tell me what you see:

Ever since first seeing this (DTO blogged about it in spring 2015, when this show opened in Passau), I was of the casual assumption that, yes, – and on a small-scale Stadttheater stage at that – someone had finally staged “Capuleti” as “2 Girls in Love”. Between the trademark Rizzoli shirt and heels for Romeo, come on!

And this is not “just give me a shirt and a coat and I’ll be a convincing young man without any props (ah, you all know who I am talking about)” either (Jane Rizzoli boots *are* props).
But, apparently, there was no queer intention. At least not outspoken – both trailers (link to the second one below) carefully avoid addressing gender, the second one speaks of ‘two young adults’, yet all the reviews I found describe a male Romeo. – Did the press simply not get it? Did Ultz pull a silent coup in the deep Catholic province?
Then again, never underestimate the South. Perhaps the enthusiastic audiences simply saw an engaging show and chose to see whatever they wanted to see reflected (I am still hung up on that shirt, though. Hello, GAY!), leaving space for others to be reflected, too (hey, “Rizzoli & Isles”: now *there’s* idea for a finale, instead of pushing everyone into new careers and marriages past and future). Screw gender, all you need is a love story.

(though really, how well would a secret-queer-love-story-of-the-1950s work for “Capuleti”? Hell, it could even be the 2000s. Though I hope that by the 2050s, that angle won’t fly anymore, anywhere.)

PS: You know what’s even gayer? The dress rehearsal footage trailer with the alternate cast:

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[The more I watch this, the more I am convinced the angle was “let’s make it totally gay and not address it at all and get a laugh at the wordings of the reviews”. – Sabine Noack as Jane Romeo and Emily Fultz as Giulietta during the dress rehearsal of Bellini’s “I Capuleti e i Montecchi”, Landestheater Niederbayern 2015.]

10 thoughts on “White Shirt Monday: Romeo Rizzoli”

  1. “There is a game of puzzles . . . which is played upon a map. One party playing requires another to find a given word — the name of town, river, state or empire — any word, in short, upon the motley and perplexed surface of the chart. A novice in the game generally seeks to embarrass his opponents by giving them the most minutely lettered names; but the adept selects such words as stretch, in large characters, from one end of the chart to the other. These, like the over-largely lettered signs and placards of the street, escape observation by dint of being excessively obvious; and here the physical oversight is precisely analogous with the moral inapprehension by which the intellect suffers to pass unnoticed those considerations which are too obtrusively and too palpably self-evident.”

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  2. i was soo tempted to come to this because it was exactly in Munich at the time.. but got a terrible cold.. in addition to the strike on the train and no connection coming back after the show.. in hindsight, should have ditched Forza (even with Harteros) and went for it…

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  3. If even the local press can’t cope with it (“zwei Erwachsene”, hilarious), what do you expect from the rural Niederbayern audience? Just yesterday people next to me got uneasy at Romeo and Giulietta nearly (!) kissing. Though, yes, probably the director was having quite a laugh at that.

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  4. Well, that does look like something you might meet in a bar off the Sendlinger Tor on a weekend Rosenkavalier is on.
    Well done for discovering it, would LOVE to read the reviews!

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  5. I don’t know who they think they’re fooling (though as you say, perhaps they’re not trying to fool anyone at all…) but I know exactly what I see here: 2 women in love and the patriarchy fucking everything up, as usual. 🙂

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    1. it works so splendidly with Capuleti that I wonder why there haven’t been more independent explicit takes like this – then again, perhaps it does not even need them. (this shirt, though. – Jane, we get it. We’ve gotten it since Episode 1.)

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