I know I'm supposed to be enjoying my summer and NOT thinking about work, but I just can't help it. This will be the first time I'll have an Advanced class full of the kids that I handpicked, and I'm excited about it. Barring any unforeseen counselors-decide-to-screw-with-the-schedules mishaps, I'll have an awesome bunch of kids for Romeo and Juliet, which is what I'm hoping to do for my One Act competition in December.
I'd like to do it in modern dress (or more likely, in stylized, modernish-type dress), and I'd like to score the show with modern music. I've never really used a lot of music in my shows, but when I was cutting the script I discovered that I could show some of the scenes nonverbally if they were scored to music. Simple scenes, like Romeo and Juliet showing up at Friar Lawrence's cell to get married, don't really have important dialogue, and can possibly become more emotional with the use of music.
One day in the car, I heard a cover of the Dire Straits song "Romeo and Juliet." I briefly toyed with the idea of scoring the whole show to songs that reference R+J (such as Blue Oyster Cult's "Don't Fear the Reaper") but was wisely talked out of the too-cutesy idea (thanks, Jen).
But it got me thinking. I've always enjoyed good covers, especially when the artist puts his personal stamp on the song, like the Ben Folds cover of The Cure's "In Between Days." Sometimes, the cover ends up better than the original, like the Gary Jules version of "Mad World" by Tears for Fears. Since my show would be setting Shakespeare in the modern world, I thought that scoring the show with covers might be a fun way of blending the old with the new.
Do you think this idea will be too limiting in my choices? If not, what are some of your favorite covers?