Orlando Bloom is to make his Broadway debut in Romeo And Juliet.
The Lord Of The Rings star will take to the stage opposite Condola Rashad in the modern interracial revival of William Shakespeare's tragic tale.
"They could have been any number of different ethnicities. The two actors I wanted to be together producing sparks just happened to be those two and I followed my nose in casting the families," director David Leveaux told the New York Times.
David decided to make the Capulets an all-black clan and the Montagues all-white to reflect real life but it is not a comment on race.
"I'm not about to turn a contemporary version of Shakespeare into a sociological or political point. We know there are families from one background or another who would reject their children getting together with someone from another group," he explained.
"Romeo and Juliet reject that notion. It is still the case that children try to oppose the cultural expectations thrust upon them, the rigidity of tribes, the rigidity of fundamentalism."
Jayne Houdyshell has been cast as the nurse and Joe Morton is to play Lord Capulet.
Previews for Romeo And Juliet begin on August 24, with the opening night set for September 19 at the Richard Rodgers theatre in New York.