Show of hands: Never been to one of Synetic Theater’s no words, all action adventures? Half the crowd at Wednesday night’s “Romeo and Juliet” performance in Crystal City reported that they were indeed first-timers. That seems remarkable, given Synetic’s sensational rise over the past decade, and it vindicates Artistic Director Paata Tsikurishvili’s strategy to spend this fall reprising three of the company’s hit wordless Shakespeare stagings.
Like “Macbeth” and “Othello,” “Romeo and Juliet” showcases Synetic doing its rambunctious, sexy thing. Buff actors in flattering costumes tumble and whirl, kiss and clash. (Synetic’s fight scenes are the fastest in town, and its romances can be blushingly va-va-voom.) Colored lights carve shapes through dense stage fog. Music pulses and pounds. It looks like an iPod commercial and sounds like the club you can’t get into after midnight.
The acting is a combination of exaggerated silent-screen technique and high-class acrobatics. It’s Shakespeare in very broad strokes — these star-crossed lovers meet their doom in a clean 90 minutes — but Tsikurishvili usually has an intriguing visual idea or two up his sleeve.