As Shakespearean comedies go, As You Like It is quite nearly perfect. It has such a good heart; such compassion for how messy it is to be human, that you’re ambushed by the comedy of it all. So much of this high-stakes yet shamelessly feel-good story can be placed at the feet of Rosalind – our transcendent heroine-come-hero-come-heroine again. Her radical goodness elevates those in her orbit, even as it puts her in harm’s way. Because people with power often keep it by quelling those who are special. Sometimes all it takes to beat them is a trip into the woods.
Featuring: Tracy Michelle Arnold, Kelsey Brennan, Nate Burger, David Daniel, Tim Gittings, Chris Klopatek, Brian Mani, Melisa Pereyra, Andrea San Miguel
Two of Shakespeare’s favorite devices – cross-dressing and running away to the woods – meet in glorious fashion in As You Like It. Rosalind and Celia are best friends and cousins. But when Celia’s father, the Duke, begins to see Rosalind as a threat to his daughter’s future prosperity, the two women don disguises (with Rosalind pretending to be a boy named Ganymede) and head to the Forest of Arden before Rosalind can be banished. Meanwhile, Orlando, a young gentleman who had previously fallen in love with Rosalind, is similarly threatened by his own brother and also flees to the Forest. There, he meets “Ganymede,” who promises to teach him how to woo Rosalind. All that plus a band of merry woods-dwelling misfits make for a great Shakespearean comedy.