There they go again, corrupting our youth

March 04, 1997|By Dickie Franklin

I THINK THE MEDIA have just gone totally overboard. Totally, I mean, look at the news any day, OK? With all our troubles, what is the point of presenting to the masses something that glorifies gang warfare, unprotected teen-age sex, a total social breakdown with no respect for authority, child abuse, teen suicide, drugs and violence.

Yet that is exactly what they're doing with a revolting little play called ''Romeo and Juliet'' down at that Center Stage place. Give me a break. My Aunt Louise dies, my sister gets the silver, I inherit these dumb tickets, I go to this play, I can't believe my eyes.

First off, do we want our daughters to be marrying at the age of 13? That's what these characters in this play are doing. This Romeo kid -- who knows what he's on -- gets it bad for this girl Juliet and the next thing you know, he's trying to sneak into her room in the middle of the night, which brings up another thing. Where are the parents? Romeo has no curfew at all -- he's out all night doing God knows what with his freak friends. Excuse me, Romeo's Mom and Dad, do you know where your children are? I don't think so.

So these two kids, they're hot to trot, but he's in a gang called the Montagues and she's in a gang called the Capulets. So one day, a bunch of young Capulet thugs run into some Montague punks on the street. Believe it or not, these kids are all carrying weapons.

And this Capulet makes an obscene gesture at the Montagues and pretty soon the stage is just overflowing with testosteroney, if you know what I mean. And one says, did you bite your thumb at me, and the other says, what if I did? And the other says take it back and the other says make me and they're calling each other names, and it's so stupid. And it just makes you wonder, how come these kids aren't in some kind of sports program?

The plot thickens

So they fight -- surprise surprise -- and this hothead Tybalt kills Romeo's best friend, so of course Romeo has to go and kill Tybalt. And we wonder, what's the matter with our young people, and we're putting stuff like this in the theater?

Before it's all done, Romeo and Juliet do a quickie wedding and shack up, he gets banished, she does some wild drug that makes you look dead that she gets from a monk, for crying out loud, Romeo gets some drug that makes him look dead and also be dead, he kills a kid named Paris, then he kills himself, and Juliet wakes up and kills herself, with a knife. It's very explicit there's blood and everything. I want to point out this play is not rated, and the night I saw it, no one was asking for proof of age.

Supposedly this play happens in a town called Verona, which must be in California judging from the tight pants and the strange way the people talked. probably somewhere up there in Silicon Implant Valley. But I'm tellin' ya, it coulda been right here in Bawlamer.

Whatever happened to nice shows like the ''Sound of Music?''

Dickie Franklin is the alter ego of writer Dick George. ''Romeo and Juliet'' is at Center Stage through March 16.

Pub Date: 3/04/97

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