Everything you need to know about '& Juliet' on Broadway
Discover why you can't miss this larger-than-life pop musical.
It's gonna be you that lives out your teenage dreams at & Juliet, the new hit musical that's ready to blow the roof off the Stephen Sondheim Theatre. This fresh, fun coming-of-age tale gives a new lease on life to a time-honored heroine: Juliet from Shakespeare's Romeo & Juliet. This musical gives the character a new lease on life, putting her in a story that doesn't end in death. Instead, she travels to Paris, makes new friends, and finds out who she is independent of Romeo.
This adventure is set to the pop music catalog of Max Martin, the Grammy Award-winning songwriter behind dozens of hits from the 90s through today. Songs by *NSYNC, Britney Spears, P!nk, Kelly Clarkson, Bon Jovi, and many more are the soundtrack to Juliet's journey, and audiences of multiple generations will find something to sing along to. Learn all about & Juliet below and then get your tickets. Once you go, though, you just might find yourself back here, saying, "Oops, I saw it again!"
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What is & Juliet about?
& Juliet is not a modern retelling of Romeo & Juliet. Rather, it picks up where Shakespeare's play left off and puts its characters into a fully original story. The musical actually begins with Shakespeare himself writing the ending to Romeo & Juliet, when his wife, Anne Hathaway, reads it and dislikes how both the lovers die at the end. She proposes a new plot, and the show unfolds as Anne thinks of and writes it in real time. Shakespeare is still there giving his input, too; the action is often interrupted by the couple squabbling over what should happen next.
In Anne's version, Juliet decides not to kill herself when she finds Romeo dead. Instead, she gathers her friends — including the Nurse from the original Romeo & Juliet play and some new characters added for & Juliet — and escapes Verona. The group go to Paris, where Juliet is introduced to a whole new world of parties and drama and love beyond what she knew back home. Her new friends and experiences show her that she's not alone in feeling stifled, but that there's a bigger world out there for her. Ultimately, & Juliet is a triumphant coming-of-age story about a young woman finding her independence.
Where is & Juliet playing?
& Juliet runs on Broadway at the Stephen Sondheim Theatre, at 124 West 43rd Street between Broadway and Sixth Avenue. The theatre is named for the late composer Stephen Sondheim, who died in 2021. The theatre was named for him while he was still alive, in 2010. Prior to that, it was called Henry Miller's Theatre after the actor and producer who first established the venue in 1918.
How long is & Juliet?
& Juliet runs 2 hours and 30 minutes with one intermission. This is a standard running time for a Broadway musical; most run between two and three hours.
What days is & Juliet playing?
& Juliet plays eight performances a week at the Stephen Sondheim Theatre. The show's schedule varies, but typically runs Tuesday to Sunday, with two performances on Wednesday and Saturday. For the complete weekly performance schedule and up-to-date show times, please visit the & Juliet page to learn more.
When did & Juliet premiere?
& Juliet premiered in 2019, but the show wouldn't exist without source material from decades and even centuries beforehand. Here's a complete timeline of & Juliet's creation and all the material that influenced the show.
- 1597: Shakespeare's Romeo & Juliet is first published and performed. The play has since become one of Shakespeare's most famous works and has been adapted into countless plays, movies, operas, books, and more.
- 1990s: Swedish music producer and songwriter Max Martin rises to prominence. He becomes famous for writing 1990s pop hits like Britney Spears's "...Baby One More Time" and the Backstreet Boys' "I Want It That Way." He is still active today and has written 25 songs that have hit number one on the Billboard Hot 100. & Juliet uses his music catalog as its score.
- 2010: Martin's wife suggests that he make his catalog of songs into a musical. He agrees, but begins the hunt for the correct bookwriter to create an original story to use them in.
- 2016: Martin brings David West Read on board as bookwriter. The idea for the story — reimaging Shakespeare with a female empowerment spin — was his.
- 2019: & Juliet has its world premiere in London. The show first plays at the Manchester Opera House and then at the Shaftesbury Theatre in the West End, where it's still running as of 2022.
- 2021: & Juliet is scheduled to have its North American premiere in Toronto, Canada. However, due to the pandemic, the production is pushed to 2022.
- June 2022: & Juliet makes its North American debut in Toronto to mixed-to-positive reviews. Rumors also begin swirling about a planned Broadway transfer.
- October 2022: & Juliet opens on Broadway at the Stephen Sondheim Theatre, featuring the main cast from Toronto.
Who wrote & Juliet?
The story of & Juliet was written by David West Read, one of the writers on the Emmy Award-winning sitcom Schitt's Creek and a showrunner on the upcoming Apple TV+ series The Big Door Prize. He's no stranger to Broadway, however; he's an established playwright whose last Broadway play, The Performers, got a Broadway.com Audience Choice nomination for Best New Play.
Swedish songwriter Max Martin is behind the music and lyrics for the show. & Juliet is a pop musical whose score is almost entirely composed of existing hit songs (plus one original song), all written or co-written by Martin. In his career, he has written 25 Billboard Hot 100 number one hits, the third-highest number of any songwriter (he trails Paul McCartney with 32 and John Lennon with 26). He also produces much of the music he writes. For either writing or producing, he's gotten 22 Grammy nominations as of 2020, and he's a member of the Songwriters Hall of Fame.
& Juliet characters
The characters in & Juliet comprise newly imagined versions of Shakespeare's characters, entirely new characters written for the musical, and fictionalized versions of historical figures. Here are the major characters in & Juliet.
- Juliet: The main character, from Shakespeare's Romeo & Juliet. She's a young woman who, instead of dying young like at the end of Shakespeare's play, decides to find out what opportunities her life holds beyond Romeo and Verona. She's slightly naive, but headstrong and determined.
- Romeo: Juliet's love interest from Romeo & Juliet. The & Juliet musical kicks off right after his suicide, but he still factors into this story — we won't spoil how.
- William Shakespeare: The author of Romeo & Juliet. He and his wife, Anne Hathaway, act as narrators of & Juliet, as the characters are writing this new story for Juliet as the show goes along. He's stubborn, though, and often pushes back on the changes Anne wants to make to his play.
- Anne Hathaway: Shakespeare's wife, who has the idea to write a new story for Juliet that doesn't end in death. She and Shakespeare formulate the plot as they go along, and when they fight about their differing ideas for the story, the play becomes an outlet for Anne to air grievances about Shakespeare and their marriage.
- Angelique: Juliet's nurse, who is unnamed in Romeo & Juliet but gets the name Angelique here. She's Juliet's confidante and guardian, and she often finds herself torn between sticking with Juliet to protect her, or going on her own to forge her own life path.
- Francois: A young French man who meets Juliet and her friends at a party he's hosting. His father tells him he needs to marry or join the military, but he doesn't want to do either. However, he does end up developing feelings for Juliet, who he sees as a refreshing change from the Parisian women he knows.
- Lance: Francois's father, who has strict expectations for his son. He reveals a softer side of himself, however, around Angelique, who used to be the nurse to his children. They hadn't seen each other in years and rekindle an old flame.
- May: Juliet's friend, who is non-binary. They often find themself feeling restricted by expectations of gender and binary constructions such as language. They bond with both Francois and Juliet over their different ways of feeling stifled.
& Juliet songs
& Juliet is scored with the chart-topping music of Max Martin, the songwriter behind some of the biggest hit songs from Britney Spears, The Backstreet Boys, Katy Perry, and many more. These songs are reimagined, though, not just as pop covers, but as storytelling tunes for Juliet and the other characters. Here are all 30 songs in & Juliet — how many are on your Spotify playlists already?
- "Larger than Life"
- "I Want It That Way"
- "...Baby One More Time"
- "Show Me the Meaning of Being Lonely"
- "Show Me Love"
- "I'm Not a Girl, Not Yet a Woman"
- "Teenage Dream"
- "Oops!... I Did It Again"
- "I Kissed a Girl"
- "It's My Life"
- "Love Me Like You Do"
- "Since U Been Gone"
- "Whataya Want From Me"
- "One More Try"
- "Problem" / "Can't Feel My Face"
- "That's the Way It Is"
- "Everybody (Backstreet's Back)"
- "As Long as You Love Me"
- "It's Gonna Be Me"
- "Shape of My Heart"
- "Fuckin' Perfect"
- "Can't Stop the Feeling!"
What awards has & Juliet won?
& Juliet was first a hit in London's West End, where it picked up multiple major theatre awards after getting critical acclaim. The London Theatre review reads, "Frequently resembling a series of pop videos come to life - thanks to performance platforms that come out of the floor, or benches that take on an aerial life of their own... it is performed with a glinting knowingness and powerful pop theatre voices." Indeed, some of those voices got their own trophies, as did the designers behind the lively setting. Here are all the major awards & Juliet has won thus far.
- Olivier Awards: & Juliet picked up three 2020 Olivier Awards out of nine nominations. All three were in acting categories: Miriam-Teak Lee won Best Actress in a Musical for playing Juliet, and David Bedella and Cassidy Janson won in the Best Supporting Actor and Actress categories, respectively, for their performances as Lance and Anne Hathaway.
- WhatsOnStage Awards: & Juliet set a record for the most WhatsOnStage Award nominations ever with 13. The show took home six of those prizes; Lee won for her performance, and the remaining five awards were in design categories: set, costume, video, projection, and graphic.
- Black British Theatre Awards: For her performance as Juliet, Lee got the Best Female Actor in a Musical award at the 2020 ceremony.
Major productions of & Juliet
& Juliet is a fairly new musical (unlike the centuries-old play that inspires it), so there are only a few major productions thus far. Those productions, though, have all been hits and span three countries on two continents, showing its global appeal. Here are all the major productions of & Juliet.
- 2019 world premiere: The world-premiere production of & Juliet was a monthlong engagement at England's Manchester Opera House, from September to October 2019. In the same way that Broadway shows will often play a "tryout" in a different U.S. city before bringing the final product to New York, this production was intended as the "tryout" before a West End run.
- 2019 West End premiere: Sure enough, the musical hit London's West End a month after the Manchester production wrapped. The show has played the Shaftesbury Theatre since November 2019, receiving rave reviews from critics. Its lead actress, Miriam-Teak Lee, picked up multiple London awards, and the show has gotten additional nods for its design and nominations for Best New Musical.
- 2022 North American premiere: & Juliet was set to premiere in North America in February 2021, but the run was delayed amid the pandemic. The show finally opened at the Princess of Wales Theatre in Toronto, Canada, in June 2022. The cast included Lorna Courtney as Juliet, Betsy Wolfe as Anne Hathaway, Stark Sands as Shakespeare, Tony Award winner Paulo Szot as Lance, and Melanie La Barrie as the Nurse, reprising her role from the West End.
- 2022 Broadway premiere: With the cast from Toronto in tow, & Juliet will premiere on Broadway in October 2022 at the Stephen Sondheim Theatre.
- 2023 Australian premiere: & Juliet is set to go up in Melbourne's Regent Theatre in February 2023.
Fun facts about & Juliet
We're confident you want to know more about this show. Learn more about the development of & Juliet and why its classic-meets-contemporary vibe makes perfect sense.
- The design of & Juliet marries the contemporary with the classical, especially costume-wise. There are elements taken from Shakespeare's time — for example, details like ruffled collars — but rendered with bright colors and combined with modern accessories and shoes.
- & Juliet is in good company with Moulin Rouge! The Musical, also on Broadway right now. That show is also set in Paris and incorporates lots of modern pop songs, but that show centers around the romance between a courtesan and a writer. Still, if you like the music, energy, and glamour of one, you're bound to enjoy the other!
- David West Read worked on & Juliet while recovering from a concussion. In an interview with The Star, he said he chose which of Martin's songs to use (the songwriter offered Read his whole catalog) while he "had nothing to do but lie in the dark and listen to hours and hours of Max Martin."
- In that interview, he also drew comparisons between the Bard and Martin: "Shakespeare was the pop writer of this time, writing for the masses. And that's what Max has been doing for decades. So, in a way, combining Shakespeare and this music makes complete sense."
- The North American premiere of & Juliet was a full-circle moment for Read, as it happened in Toronto, where Read is from. Plus, it went up in the Princess of Wales Theatre, the same venue where Read saw his first live show: another jukebox musical, Mamma Mia!
How to get & Juliet tickets
& Juliet takes classic characters and, with an original and spunky story, gives them a fresh new lease on life. Young women coming of age may see themselves in Juliet, classics buffs will get to see new spins on time-honored historical figures and characters, and anyone with a love for pop music will be grooving and lip-syncing along to this larger-than-life show. Show & Juliet love and get your tickets to this Broadway musical now.
& Juliet tickets are available now. Get tickets to & Juliet on New York Theatre Guide today.
Top image credit: Joomin Hwang, Rachel Webb, Bobby "Pocket" Horner, Lorna Courtney, and Virgil Gadson in & Juliet in Toronto. (Photo by Matthew Murphy)
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