Rachel Zegler, Kit Connor, and Taylor Swift producer Jack Antonoff to make Broadway debuts in Romeo + Juliet

Bintano
8 Min Read

Rachel Zegler and Kit Connor are set to make their Broadway debuts in one of Shakespeare’s most enduring tragedies.

The 22-year-old West Side Story actress and the 20-year-old Heartstopper star will be teaming up to star in the title roles of Romeo + Juliet, a new adaptation of the immortal play from director Sam Gold, it was announced on Tuesday.

Connor and Zegler sparked speculation that they would be starring in the production when they posted the respective letters R and J on their Instagram pages, leading fans to assume they would lead a production of Romeo And Juliet, which was confirmed with the announcement.

In addition to marking the Broadway debuts of Zegler and Connor, the new production will also be the Broadway debut of musician and producer Jack Antonoff, 40 — best known for being one of Taylor Swift’s go-to producers — as the production will feature new music from him.

‘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,’ director Sam Gold said in a statement.

Rachel Zegler, Kit Connor, and Taylor Swift producer Jack Antonoff to make Broadway debuts in Romeo + Juliet

They'll lead a new adaptation from director Sam Gold, it was announced on Tuesday; sen March 18 in NYC

Rachel Zegler, 22, and Kit Connor, 20, will make their Broadway debuts in the title roles of Romeo + Juliet, a new adaptation of the immortal play from director Sam Gold, it was announced on Tuesday

Jack Antonoff, 40, the leader of Bleachers and one of Taylor Swift's go-to producers, will also make his Broadway debut by providing new music for the production; seen March 19 in London

Jack Antonoff, 40, the leader of Bleachers and one of Taylor Swift’s go-to producers, will also make his Broadway debut by providing new music for the production; seen March 19 in London

The show’s official synopsis indicates that it will take an edgier approach to Romeo And Juliet than more traditional productions. 

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

Gold is taking on Shakespeare’s play, which was first published in 1597, after most recently helming an acclaimed production of Ibsen’s An Enemy Of The People in an adaptation from Tony Award–nominee Amy Herzog.

The play has received particularly strong reviews for its cast, which is led by Succession’s Jeremy Strong and The Sopranos and The White Lotus star Michael Imperioli.

Zegler hinted at the announcement on Monday night when she interrupted her Dior fashion show posts with an image of her with her face partially cropped as she flashed a peace sign.

‘OK that’s all. See you tomorrow (which could mean nothing),’ she joked in the text.

After the announcement, she added on X (formerly Twitter): ‘never beating the broadway debut allegations.’ 

Sonya Tayeh is also attached to the production to lead movement. 

Connor and Zegler sparked speculation that they would be starring in the production when they posted the respective letters R and J on their Instagram pages

Fans assumed they would lead a production of Romeo And Juliet, which was confirmed with the announcement on Tuesday

Connor and Zegler sparked speculation that they would be starring in the production when they posted the respective letters R and J on their Instagram pages, leading fans to assume they would lead a production of Romeo And Juliet, which was confirmed with the announcement on Tuesday 

Zegler hinted at the announcement on Monday with an image of her with her flashing a peace sign. 'OK that's all. See you tomorrow (which could mean nothing),' she joked in the text

Zegler hinted at the announcement on Monday with an image of her with her flashing a peace sign. ‘OK that’s all. See you tomorrow (which could mean nothing),’ she joked in the text

Connor, a London native, posted the letter R (for Romeo) on Monday evening, while Zegler, who hails from New Jersey, posted the letter J (for Juliet), with interlocking halves of an addition sign on their posts.

Both tagged the posts from Verona, the location of the story, and added emoji captions of a heart and dagger, which led fans to speculate that they were working on the Shakespeare classic.

One fan, referencing Zegler’s previous Golden Globe-winning performance as Maria in the 2021 Steven Spielberg film West Side Story, wrote, ‘Rachel playing Juliet and Maria is so ridiculously iconic.’

That musical, which was conceived by Jerome Robbins with music by Leonard Bernstein, lyrics by Stephen Sondheim and a book by Arthur Laurents, adapted Romeo And Juliet for 1950s-era New York City. 

MTV’s account said on Zegler’s page, ‘WHAT’S HAPPENING RACHEL,’ while saying on Connor’s page, ‘OK NOW I’M REALLY LOSING IT;’ said one fan, ‘Kit Conner and Rachel Zegler as Romeo and Juliet are u actually serious omg.’

Said another fan: ‘OMG!! Is she doing Romeo &Juliet on Broadway or a movie? Whatever this turns out to be i’m so ready for it!’

One user said on Connor’s page of the set-up: ‘It must be an R for Romeo and half of a plus sign I bet the female lead will be uploading the other half of the plus sign and the letter J.’ 

Another headline-making version of Romeo & Juliet is slated to play on London’s West End at the Duke of York’s Theatre starring Marvel actor Tom Holland and Francesca Amewudah-Rivers in the title roles.

Zegler in recent years has been seen in motion pictures including 2023’s The Hunger Games: The Ballad Of Songbirds & Snakes, in which she played Lucy Gray Baird; 2023’s Shazam! Fury Of The Gods as Anthea; and this year’s throwback comedy Y2K as Laura.

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Fans took to Zegler's page with reactions to the post

Fans took to Zegler’s page with reactions to the post 

A number of fans posted to Connor's page in response to his posting Monday

A number of fans posted to Connor’s page in response to his posting Monday 

Zegler in recent years has been seen in motion pictures including The Hunger Games: The Ballad Of Songbirds & Snakes; pictured at a NYC screening of the film November 15, 2023

Zegler in recent years has been seen in motion pictures including The Hunger Games: The Ballad Of Songbirds & Snakes; pictured at a NYC screening of the film November 15, 2023 

Connor's career has been on the surge in recent years, as he plays the role of Nick Nelson on the Netflix romantic drama Heartstopper, opposite Joe Locke

Connor’s career has been on the surge in recent years, as he plays the role of Nick Nelson on the Netflix romantic drama Heartstopper, opposite Joe Locke 

She has a number of high-profile projects on the horizon, as she’s slated to play Snow White in a 2025 live-action adaptation of Snow White, costarring Gal Gadot as the Evil Queen. 

Connor’s career has been on the surge in recent years, as he plays the role of Nick Nelson on the Netflix romantic drama Heartstopper, opposite Joe Locke.

Connor has also been seen in films such as 2019’s Rocketman and the 2018 Spielberg film Ready Player One.

He is slated to provide his vocal talents to the forthcoming DreamWorks Animation film The Wild Robot, costarring Lupita Nyong’o, Pedro Pascal and Stephanie Hsu.

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