Matthew Scott Moore
Romeo and Juliet (Mercutio)
Shakespeares Romeo and Juliet is about love and hate, faith and fate, friendship, loyalty, and betrayal. It remains his most popular early play. Romeos best friends are Benvolio, his kinsman, and Mercutio, a relative of the Prince. Both friends have radically different temperaments. Both are linked by their loyalty to Romeo, but meet very different ends. Benvolio is a stolid, relatively unimaginative, but thoroughly decent young man who is contrasted with the impish, impulsive, brilliantly whimsical Mercutio and the passionate Romeo. Mercutio is killed midway through the play, and with his death, the lightness and joy and fun of the first half go out with him. The catastrophe that will also claim the lives of Tybalt, Paris, Romeo, and Juliet has been set in motion. Benvolio, the witness and ineffectual peacemaker, survives.
Fun fact: In ASL plays, each lead character is given a distinctive namesign. Mercutios namesign was an M struck twice against the upper chest. This became Matthews own namesign, and his friends still use it today.
Matthews Mercutio was a mischievous, ribald, flamboyant, hot-blooded foil to the quieter, steady-tempered, more sedate Benvolio played by Michael O'Connor. His Queen Mab speech, delivered in American Sign Language, was one of the highlights of the play; his rendition gave a fresh dimension to the magic and whimsy of that famous flight of imagination passage.
Michael OConnor and Matthew appeared in two plays togetherRomeo and Juliet and The Odd Coupleacting opposite each other. And both actors have been, so far, the only ones to win NTIDs prestigious Golden Hands Award for excellence in acting.
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