Friday, May 21, 2004

Laughs come thick and fast in Shakespeare parody

Even the Day-Glo imaginations of Franco Zeffirelli and Baz Luhrmann couldn't come up with a musical number in which Romeo sings to his recently expired ladylove the heartfelt ditty "Thank You for Dying First."

But for Ron West, the author and director of Second City's whip-smart, intensely amusing, PG-13 summer "Romeo and Juliet" parody on Navy Pier, that's an obvious emotion for a musical Montague -- a.k.a. Keegan-Michael Key -- with an eye on his own historical import. Not that Juliet gets forgotten. In the hands of "MADtv's" Nicole Parker, this is the kind of teenager who doesn't hesitate to extract a post-mortem admission from Romeo that he was a lousy kisser all along.

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