Back Alley Kicks Off 2018 Season With Romeo And Juliet

Wednesday, February 7, 2018
The full cast of Romeo and Juliet
The full cast of Romeo and Juliet

William Shakespeare's enduring tragedy, “Romeo and Juliet,” is coming to the Mars Theatre, with performances by Back Alley Productions running Feb. 9-18. 

Performances are set for Fridays and Saturdays at 7:30 p.m. and Sundays at 2:30 p.m. Tickets may be purchased online at or in-person at the box office. Also available for a limited time are the 2018 season passes. The historic theater is at 117 N. Chattanooga St., in Lafayette. 

Review for Romeo and Juliet: 

Romeo and Juliet is a tragedy about two young lovers who break from their feuding families in order to be with each other, and the destructive and deadly results that occur when hatred is allowed to rule households. The play, set in Verona, Italy, begins with a street brawl between Montague and Capulet servants who, like their masters, are sworn enemies. The Prince of Verona intervenes and declares that any further breach of the peace will be punishable by death. 

“Like many, Romeo and Juliet, during high school was my first introduction into Shakespeare,” director Kaylee Smith said. “It still brings back early memories of wanting the star-crossed lovers to get their happy ending. Like the audience I always want to scream wait, stop, do something different, but Shakespeare doesn’t spare our star-crossed lovers. Despite being a well-known plot, it’s a story we all come back to time and time again, which speaks volumes to the timeless relevance. Shakespeare was beyond his years, and his writings are as relevant today as they were to his generation and they are absolutely best learned and felt in live theatre. 

"Romeo and Juliet, young people on the brink of adulthood, fall in love, and by doing so, part with the hate of their families. When Tybalt Juliet’s cousin notices, his hate grows, and it leads to an inevitable breach of the Prince’s law and to the inevitable conclusions that occur. 

“I think Shakespeare was one of those rare artists who could communicate the human condition
in a way that appeals to everyone. Love makes people do crazy things and hate within families and communities causes significant destruction. I’m very proud of this cast and their ability to tap into the mind and work of the Bard to present this retelling at the Mars Theatre. Don’t worry about it being a tale written long ago, or the language, Back Alley actors have been doing Shakespeare since 2013 and know how to make the audience become engaged in both dialogue and action. Trust us, you’ll forget the fact it was written so long ago, and you’ll follow along on the edge of your seat."

This play has a PG-13 rating with themes of violence, adult themes, and suicide. Contact Ms. Smith at 706-621-2870 with any questions. 

Chattanooga Native Thomas West Performs In A Quiet Place

Baritone Thomas West, a recent Juilliard graduate and Chattanooga native who is currently studying at the Tanglewood Music Center in Lenox, Mass., sang the role of Bill in Leonard Berstein's opera A Quiet Place Thursday. The TMC is the world-renowned summer music academy of the Boston Symphony Orchestra, for which over 100 students from across the country are selected to participate ... (click for more)

2018 Noontunes Lineup And Move To Miller Park

The all local lineup for the 2018 Noontunes season is here. Sponsored by Tennessee Valley Federal Credit Union, TVFCU, and happening Wednesdays at noon from Sept. 19-Nov. 28, Noontunes’ home for 2018 will be the brand new Miller Park, 928 Market St., which reopens to the public on Sept. 14.    The 2018 Noontunes lineup is as follows:  Dr. B and the Ease, Funk, ... (click for more)

City To Delay Proposal To Surplus 3 Buildings Near City Hall

City officials said Tuesday they will delay action on the proposal to surplus three buildings near City Hall. Stacy Richardson, chief of staff to Mayor Andy Berke, said the staff still does not have all the answers to questions raised about the plan. She said the staff is still convinced that moving the buildings to the private market as part of the Innovation District would ... (click for more)

Hearing Delay On Suit Brought By State Democrats To Keep Robin Smith Off Ballot

A hearing has been delayed on a lawsuit brought by the Tennessee Democratic Party seeking to keep Republican Robin Smith off the ballot in House District 26. Ms. Smith was the only candidate after longtime Rep. Gerald McCormick abruptly announced he was leaving his post to move to Nashville. Chancellor Jeff Atherton on Monday afternoon said he could not take the case until ... (click for more)

Make One Of The Proposed Surplus City Buildings Into A Local History Museum - And Response

The city of Chattanooga currently has no history center or museum. That is because several years ago it was conveyed to the public, in the blinking of an eye, that $9 million that had been raised mysteriously vanished for reasons unexplainable to this date. In the meantime, valuable artifacts and collections are sitting in cellars, basements and storage facilities instead of being ... (click for more)

Roy Exum: No Cell Phones Allowed

There was a time, not so long ago, when school-aged children would learn lessons from a prescribed text, such as a textbook. Today texting is far, far different and, as any of our teachers will tell us, cell phones have become the scourge of education. In almost every classroom, kids will silently text in the shadow of the desk in front of them rather than focus on the lesson. Yet ... (click for more)