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But soft, what light through yonder window breaks? It's Lorain County Metro Parks offering 'Romeo & Juliet' for free this weekend

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LORAIN — “O Romeo, Romeo! Wherefore art thou Romeo?”

Well, Juliet, if you’d just be patient, you can see him this weekend at Lakeview Park.

In fact, everyone can see him this weekend because for the first time, Lorain County Metro Parks and French Creek Theatre are offering Shakespeare in the Park.

So, grab your low-back chairs and blankets, pack a picnic and head out to the lake to see if these star-crossed lovers are able to make a go of it this time around. Spoiler alert: They don’t.

But these are the immortal words of Shakespeare, and what better way to hear them than under the stars?

Lorain County Metro Parks has offered its summer Music Under the Stars program for a while now, and it has been a huge success, according to Vanessa Klesta, public information officer with the Metro Parks.

“We have a built-in audience, so we thought we would try something different this year,” she said.

This is the last performance of the season for French Creek Theatre.

Sixteen cast members will play out the tragedy that is “Romeo and Juliet,” the story of a young woman betrothed by her parents against her will and a young man whose honor is bound to hate the household of his love. As their families war, together they will bear their devotion beyond the boundaries of death.

Brian McNally, Lorain County Metro Parks’ cultural arts programmer, will direct. Starring in the title roles, and making their French Creek Theatre debuts, are Bryon Tobin and Madelyn Voltz, both of Cleveland. Rounding out the rest of the cast are Kevin Boland, of Oberlin; Domenic Farinelli, of Lakewood; Dawn Galang, of Westlake; Margaret Hnat, of Bay Village; Jane Medoro, of Westlake; Lynna Metrisin, of Lakewood; Ethan Rozsahegyi, of Cleveland; Kelsey Rubenking, of Lakewood; Dennis Runkle, of Lakewood; Joe Smith, of North Ridgeville; Michael Strama, of Berea; Steven Walker, of Lakewood; Mikhayla Wilkins, of Broadview Heights; and Emily Zart, of Concord.

The 90-minute show will run without intermission.

Klesta has avoided rehearsals in order to view the Saturday performance under the stars.

“What a great opportunity to learn about Shakespeare and experience the theater on the shores of the beautiful Lake Erie,” she said. “I’m looking forward to the performance, just to be out in that atmosphere is going to be magical.”

Music Under the Stars usually draws about 300 people, so Klesta is optimistic that this new venture will bring a crowd.

“The area can hold quite a few people, and the views are beautiful,” she said.

In the event of rain Friday or Sunday, the show will be moved inside the Sunset Terrace.

Metro Parks officials already are banking on the success of this year’s outdoor performance, and have scheduled another one for next year.

French Creek Theatre’s new season starts in October with “The Little Shop of Horrors,” and will conclude next summer with “As You Like It,” performed at the Vermilion River Reservation.

The final Music Under the Stars performance takes place 7 p.m. Sept. 9, coinciding with the Latino Festival, with the music of Justo Saborit at Lakeview Park.

Contact Christina Jolliffe at 440-329-7155 or ctnews@chroniclet.com.
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