San Diego outdoors: Aida, animal tracks, rugby, SUP with dogs, 1800s Old Town, waterski and wakeboard
Indoors: WWI San Diego, complete history of theater, Christopher Plummer, pickles, Van Gogh-Gaughin, Martina McBride
11:50 a.m., June 28
The Poor Players have earned an impressive reputation for staging inventive Shakespearean productions on a shoestring budget. Except for a couple of admirable performances, however, their current, modern-dress effort falls far short of their usually high mark. If there's a concept, it doesn't pan out (the Montagues are males, dressed in black; the Capulets, including Tybalt, females in various red T-shirts: a gender thing - okay, so?). Justin Lang's Romeo beams on and off (when on, quite good; when off, emotionally fuzzy). As Juliet, Katie Dupont has some strong moments but needs to project more and rely less on scrunched-faced expressions to convey angst. Max Macke does clean, stable readings as Friar Lawrence, and Rhona Gold's meddlesome nurse is a kick. Nick Kennedy gives Mercutio the required dose of antsiness. And the rest of the cast ranges from competent (Neil McDonald's Capulet) to amateurish. Kennedy directed, and though the first few scenes brim with energy and Poor Players mayhem, the evening settles into a bland, rote presentation that eventually wears one down.