Lorna Courtney, Paulo Szot, Betsy Wolfe, Stark Sands Cast in New Musical ‘& Juliet’

Lorna Courtney, Paulo Szot, Betsy Wolfe, Stark Sands
Courtney: Stephen Lovekin/Variety; Wolfe: Bryan Bedder; Sands: Andrew H Walker/Variety

Lorna Courtney, Paulo Szot, Betsy Wolfe and Stark Sands will headline the North American premiere cast of the Max Martin jukebox musical “& Juliet,” the production announced on Friday.

Currently running on the London’s West End, “& Juliet” is a retelling of the classic William Shakespeare tragedy “Romeo & Juliet.” Featuring a framing device where Shakespeare and his wife Anne Hathaway comment on the original play, the musical explores a scenario in which Juliet doesn’t die at the end of the story, and instead takes a road trip to Paris in search of self-discovery. The musical features a book from David West Read, who is best known for his work writing on Canadian comedy series “Schitt’s Creek,” and music from Grammy-winning songwriter Max Martin, including hits like “I Want It That Way,” “Since U Been Gone” and “Teenage Dream.” An original song “One More Try,” co-written with Jessie J, is also featured.

Courtney will star in the North American production of “& Juliet” as Juliet. A recent graduate of the University of Michigan, Courtney previously appeared on Broadway in “Dear Evan Hansen” and the 2020 “West Side Story” revival. This will be her first professional leading role.

Paulo Szot will play Lance, a wealthy man Juliet meets while in Paris. A professional opera singer, Szot made his Broadway debut in 2008 as Emile De Becque in a revival of “South Pacific,” winning a Tony for his performance. He has performed in opera productions at Metropolitan Opera, Scala di Milano and Paris Opera, among others.

Wolfe will play Anne Hathaway. A veteran Broadway performer, Wolfe has been featured in musicals such as “Falsettos,” “Waitress” and “Bullets Over Broadway.”

Sands will portray William Shakespeare. Sands is a two-time Tony nominee for his roles in “Journey’s End” and “Kinky Boots.” He also starred in Broadway productions of “To Kill a Mockingbird” and “American Idiot.”

In addition to Courtney, Szot, Wolfe and Sands, “& Juliet” will also star Melanie La Barrie as the Nurse, reprising her role from the original UK production. The production will also star Justin David Sullivan as May, Ben Jackson Walker as Romeo and Philippe Arroyo as Francois. The ensemble features Brandon Antonio, Nico De Jesus, Nicholas Edwards, Katy Geraghty, Virgil Gadson, Bobby Horner, Joomin Hwang, Michael Iván Carrier, Alaina Vi T.Maderal, Daniel J. Maldonado, Joe Moeller, Brittany Nicholas, Veronica Otim, Jasmine Rafael, Matt Raffy, Tiernan Tunnicliffe and Rachel Webb.

The North American production of “& Juliet” will play an eight week limited engagement at the Princess in Wales Theatre in Toronto, as a tryout for a Broadway transfer. The musical is directed by Luke Sheppard, with choreography from Jennifer Weber, set design by Soutra Gilmour, costumes by Paloma Young, lighting design by Howard Hudson, sound design by Gareth Owen, music supervision and orchestration by Bill Sherman and hair design by J. Jared Janas. The production is set to run from June 22 to Aug. 14.