Massachusetts Politics Takes Intimate Turn

The Republican candidates for lieutenant governor, who have yet to debate, are finally set to face off -- on the Shakespearean stage.

Jim Rappaport and Kerry Healey will appear on stage together as love interests in an abridged performance of Shakespeare's "Henry V."

Rappaport plays Henry, King of England, and Healey plays Katherine, his French love interest. The performance is presented by the Commonwealth Shakespeare Company.

The play calls for a stage kiss, and for Healey to wear a tiara and Rappaport to wear a crown. But given their political competition, it's unclear what will happen, said Daniel Kells, the Shakespeare Company's general manager.

"We don't know if they'll kiss," he said.

Healey was the state's Republican Party chairwoman when she accepted the role. She became gubernatorial candidate Mitt Romney's running mate last month.

Rappaport, who won the party's convention nomination last month, is a former state party chairman and real estate developer.  The Massachusetts primary is scheduled for Sept. 17.

Healey's spokesman Eric Fehrnstrom said the joint appearance is "all in good fun."

Two rehearsals are planned before Wednesday's performance at Suffolk University Law School. The other performers include U.S. District Court Judge Nancy Gertner, former Suffolk County District Attorney Ralph Martin, and other public figures.