When I’m calling you
As You Like It
Written by William Shakespeare
Directed by Nicholas Martin-Smith
North Patio of the Soldiers' and Sailors' Monument
Equity approved showcase (closed
Review by David Mackler
In a program director’s note, Nicholas Martin-Smith explains how he was struck by dark undercurrents in Shakespeare’s As You Like It, and how the play is a journey, with lots of helplessness and powerlessness. Yes, well. Heady stuff for twilight in the park. Thankfully, he also remembered it’s a comedy, and directed his cast to play to the hilt.
Ok, so the set-up isn’t much fun, all that banishment and
disinheriting. But the real meat of the
play is Rosalind and
On another basic level, it was great to see an exiled Duke
Ferdinand (Kelly King) who carried
himself like a king, but exhibited the good sense to be likeable and not abuse
his position. Maybe it’s the forest that
does it, because it also made Celia (Kristal Lynn Lockyer) turn from slightly annoying sidekick to warm
and open companion. Jaques
seemed more grumpy than melancholy, but he too was well spoken, and there was a
fun verbal jousting match with
In fact there was plenty of fun verbal jousting, and all of the Shakespearean set-pieces were well done. Rosalind-as-Ganymede and Orlando; Corin the shepherd’s (Joe Crow Ryan) simple, direct, honest nature as Touchstone (Joe Hamel) tries to get a rise out of him; terrific Orlando and Ganymede (again!) as he woos “Rosalind”; more fun as Touchstone woos Audrey (Sydney Stanton); Ganymede trying to divert Phoebe’s (Carrie Edel Issacman) attentions over to Sylvius (Chris Behan). It was even funny when the evil-but-finally-repentant Oliver (Brian Releford II) was confronted by Ganymede and Celia. And the requisite audience participation was not over-done – the occasional actor giving a spectator a prop to hold, or Jaques sitting with the spectators watching Touchstone and Audrey wasn’t forced, but part of the fun.
Martin-Smith’s costume designs were generic-Shakespearean but eminently suitable for all the jumping and climbing the cast did (even the kick-line for “There was a lover and his lass…”), and the lighting was by nature and the Parks Department. Did they time it so that park lights went on just in time for curtain calls? Nice touch, that.
Also with David Douglas Smith, George Wells, Leo Gionnopoulos, Michael C. Freeland, Kwasi osei, William Ramirez, Chris Johnson, Mark Isler, Tyler D Hall.
Copyright 2007 David Mackler
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