Kel Mitchell, star of Nickelodeon hit series Keenan and Kel, takes a different kind of leading role as Romeo in a kidvid adaptation of Romeo and Juliet. Produced by Pound Ridge, New York-based Elizabethan Films in association with L.A. theater company Will & Co, the video version of the theatrical performance is budgeted at US$650,000. Twenty-one-year-old Mitchell signed on to the challenging project to take a break from portraying likable characters on Keenan and Kel, plus Nick sketch comedy series All That and feature film Good Burger.
Elizabethan Films plans to follow the release with a kid-oriented version of The Tempest, starring Esai Morales (La Bamba). Romeo and Juliet has no distributor to date, says Elizabethan Films co-owner Bill Talmadge.
‘A hallmark of what we’re trying to do is to make the productions not only entertaining programs for kids, but multicultural and multiethnic as well,’ says Talmadge. In order to facilitate children’s comprehension of Shakespeare, a comedic announcer, Mercutio, speaks directly to the audience throughout the play, helping to explain what’s going on.