Monday, July 31, 2017


AS YOU LIKE IT by William Shakespeare rambles with banishings and fallings in love and mixed up lovers and now and then a speech that wakes you up and carries you along ..  an old familiar song that in the midst of shenanigans changes everything.  This is what happens well into the show as from the back of the house we turn to hear a voice.  At first we only hear Jacques  (James Sutorius
James Sutorius
Photo by Daniel G. Lam Photography
demand more music from musicians who are hey nonny nonnying. And, then he enters.  Of course, I'm getting ahead of myself.  Antaeus always finds a way to cast their shows color blind and with excellence.  Rosalind (Sally Hughes) and Celia (Desiree Mee Jung) are BFFs and cannot live one w/out the other.  So, when Rosalind is banished because the mean old Duke Frederick (Brian Abraham) wants to just get rid of her and send her to her banished dad, Duke Senior (Bernard K. Addison) off in the Forest of Arden, the conflicts begin right along with a loopy plot. 

What the Bard was up to with As You Like It is rather a mystery as characters come and go and the ruse of Rosalind disguising herself as a boy, Ganymead and doing a very strange dance as the animal magnetism practically explodes with poor Orlando (Matthew Gallenstein) is entertaining and just a trifle long.  Like Portia exacting promises at the conclusion of The Merchant of Venice, sly little Ganymead.. Rosalind.. works like anything to put right the romance of the plot and, of course, succeeds. All's Well.. etc.  

Frosting on this excellent cast is supplied with JD Cullum having about as much fun with Touchstone as is permisable on any stage.  The patter required is supplemented by  gestures (appropriate and inappropriate) with a medium sized zucchini  that is worth the price of admission alone.
Luis Kelly-Duarte, JD Cullum
Photo by
Daniel G. Lam Photography

There's wrestling and a lion attack (off stage) and on Francios-Pierre Couture's all purpose set with a slightly Moroccan theme,  the less than intimate allusion to the Forest of Arden still works.

Director Rob Clare's staging is somewhat linear, but with no elevations or other opportunities for variety, the play feels presented much as how it might have been in the original. 

Taking issue with the Bard is risky.  Certainly, this cast tackles the text with alacrity and following the scenes is relatively easy. It's just that this one really stretches credibility even though the lovers do unite and 'there by hangs the tale!'  Anna Lamadrid as Phebe takes a little bit and makes it more.

"All the World's a Stage..." Jacques reminds us. His mellifluous rendering of this speech alone is worth wading through the meandering plot.  I loved A. Jeffrey Schoenberg's mix and match period costumes, as well as Mr. Clare's choices to create a few breaks in the fourth wall to draw the audience in with a nudge and a wink.  There's a little dancing, too.

Read the synopsis and come prepared to have a great time. 

by William Shakespeare
Antaeus Theatre
110 E. Broadway
Glendale, California 91205
Performances: July 27 – Sept. 10
Tuesday at 8 p.m.: July 25 ONLY (preview)
Wednesday at 8 p.m.: July 26 ONLY (preview)
Thursdays at 8 p.m.: July 20 (preview), July 27 (opening); Aug. 3, 10, 17, 24, 31; Sept. 7
Fridays at 8 p.m.: July 21 (preview), July 28 (opening); Aug. 4, 11, 18, 25; Sept. 1, 8
Saturdays at 2 p.m.: Aug. 5, 12, 19, 26; Sept. 2, 9 (no 2 p.m. matinee on July 22 or July 29)
Saturdays at 8 p.m.: July 22 (preview), July 29; Aug. 5, 12, 19, 26; Sept. 2, 9
Sundays at 2 p.m.: July 23 (preview), July 30; Aug. 6, 13, 20, 27; Sept. 3, 10
Tickets and Information:
(818) 506-1983 or

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