The Ultimate Romeo and Juliet List
Best Anime Romeo and Juliet: Ash & May
I can’t believe the song Romeo & Juliet by S.O.A.P. isn’t on some version of Dance Dance Revolution. Even better would be if had this Ash & May Romeo and Juliet anime to go along with it. See it on Youtube here.
Best Final Fantasy Romeo and Juliet
Set to the Finnish europop Movetron’s “Romeo ja Julia,” this amazing fan-created Final Fantasy version tells the entire story in a crisp 4 minutes and 43 seconds. Amazing! View it here.
Best 19th century painting of Romeo and Juliet: Ford Maddox Brown
As many as one-fifth of all literary paintings done between 1760 and 1900 were of Shakespeare’s plays. Emory University’s Harry Rusche has cataloged many of them for his class called “Shakespeare Illustrated.” This one by Ford Maddox Brown depicts the famous scene on the balcony
Best Romeo and Juliet Movie: The Franco Zeffirelli version (1968)
With all due respect to the stunning acting abilities of Leonardo DiCaprio in the 1996 version of Romeo and Juliet (cough, cough), the 1968 version directed by Franco Zeffirelli is the gold standard of movie versions. Starring Olivia Hussey and Leonard Whiting, both young teens at the time, Zeffirelli cast this well and brings the right intensity to the story, while staying true to Shakespeare’s vision.
See this great blog post about the “where are they now?” story of Hussey and Whiting.
Best Falsetto Sock Puppet Romeo and Juliet: Falsetto Sock Puppet Theatre
The four parts of this video are all on YouTube here. Not much you can do with sock puppets, but he gets all he can from these characters.
Best Ballet Romeo and Juliet: Angel Corella and Alessandra Ferri
I’ll bet you thought I’d go with Rudolf Nureyev and Margot Fonteyn in 1966 at the Royal Ballet or perhaps Nureyev at the Ballet de l’Opera National de Paris. If you want to go really old school there is always Maya Plisetskaya. But I had to go with Alessandra Ferri and her performance with Angel Corella. How many ballet superstars have their own MySpace page?
Although not complete, here’s a useful timeline of ballet productions of Romeo and Juliet. And another even more incredible YouTube find is the original Juliet, Galiana Ulanova.
Best Romeo and Juliet Song: Dire Straits
Best Electronic Book Version of Romeo and Juliet: Google Book
I’m partial to this 1913 version that comes complete with notes and is free to download from Google Books.
Best Romeo and Juliet Musical Adaptation: West Side Story
Best Stage Production of Romeo and Juliet: 1935 Old Vic
After Hamlet, Romeo and Juliet has probably been performed more than any other Shakespeare play. So it would be difficult to come up with the ultimate production. But the 1935 Old Vic production with John Gielgud, Laurence Olivier and Peggy Ashcroft has long been considered to be one of the greatest.
Big Collection of Romeo and Juliet Videos
Here’s a collection of the videos mentioned above as well as several more: