Released: Jan 01st, 1988
Running Time: 90
Director: Paul Thomas
Company: Western Visuals
Cast: Jerry Butler, Tom Byron, Megan Leigh, Kim Alexis, Joey Silvera, Keisha (I), Alicia Monet, Nina Hartley, Robert Bullock
Critical Rating: AAAA
In one particular sense, I'm going to have a hard time rationalizing this review. There's so much about this feature to like, and there are parts of it that raised my hackles. Quick story line: a Shakespearean repertory company had better put on a successful performance of Romeo and Juliet or the theater gets sold out from under them by cultural dolt Joey Silvera to a porno chain.
Jerry Butler's character of Radley who plays Romeo is uncontrolled, undisciplined, vile, flip, obnoxious and arrogant. And watching him cut up in the opening scene during a rehearsal is like watching a runaway casino bus full of bad lounge comedians. You want to put this guy into Elizabethan orbit. Kim Alexis who plays Shelly/Juliet wanders through her part like Alexis in Wonderland. Half the time you think she's floating in the same orbit.
Nina Hartley is the most gorgeous I've seen her, and she plays her scenes electrically off of Robert Bullock, who as the director, tries to get this human menagerie on the road. Bullock is an excellent actor when given the material, and here he makes tremendous use of his range. Tom Byron is a stage hand who dreams of the big chance to land the Romeo part and shares a torridly passionate fantasy sequence with Alexis.
The script is vast and ambitious with a memorable dressing room sex sequence in which Butler daisy chains Keisha, Alicia Monet and Megan Leigh. Certainly, not in Shakespeare's script, but neither is the punch line which saves the theater and proves all's well that ends well.