Rachel Zegler and Kit Connor to make Broadway debut in Romeo + Juliet this fall

Rachel Zegler and Kit Connor to make Broadway debut in Romeo + Juliet this fall

West Side Story’s Rachel Zegler and Heartstopper breakout Kit Connor will make their Broadway debuts in a modern-day adaptation of Shakespeare’s Romeo + Juliet.

The two will lead the revival as star-crossed lovers. They teased the news on Instagram on Monday (15 April) with matching photos showing their character’s initials alongside a caption of a heart-and-dagger emoji. They had also included a location tag of Verona, the Italian city where their characters live.

Directed by Tony-winner Sam Gold (Fun Home) and featuring music by Grammy-winner Jack Antonoff, the forthcoming production will seemingly cater to a younger generation.

“The youth are f***d. Left to their own devices in their parents’ world of violent ends, an impulsive pair of star-crossed lovers hurtle towards their inescapable fate. The intoxicating high of passion quickly descends into a brutal chaos that can only end one way,” reads an official logline.

“With the presidential election coming up in November, I felt like making a show this fall that celebrates youth and hope, and unleashes the anger young people feel about the world they are inheriting,” Gold said in a statement.

Theatre, performance dates and additional casting will be announced in due time. However, those looking to sign up for early access tickets can do so at RomeoandJulietNYC.com.

On Tuesday (16 April), Zegler, 22, reacted with crying emojis to a years-old X post, in which she had written: “Ok but when can I be on Broadway.”

Meanwhile, Connor, 20, will be following in the footsteps of his Heartstopper co-star Joe Locke, who also made his Broadway debut this February, starring in Hadestown.

The announcement of Romeo + Juliet coincides with the recent news that Tom Holland will make his West End debut in a separate London production of Romeo & Juliet from director Jamie Lloyd. Francesca Amewudah-Rivers will star as Juliet.

Last week, more than 800 Black female and non-binary actors signed an open letter in solidarity with Amewudah-Rivers, who has been the subject of vile online abuse after her casting as the female lead was announced in February.

“The racist and misogynistic abuse directed at such a sweet soul has been too much to bear,” it reads. “For a casting announcement of a play to ignite such twisted ugly abuse is truly embarrassing for those so empty and barren in their own lives that they must meddle in hateful abuse.”

The letter follows a statement issued by the Jamie Lloyd theatre company condemning the “barrage of deplorable racial abuse”.