Thursday, October 2, 2008
"...Do you not know I am a woman? When I think, I must speak..."
As I have mentioned before, “As You Like It” is one of my favorite plays written by William Shakespeare. So, I was very excited to see the production of it by the Southwest Shakespeare Company last Saturday night with my friends, Kim, Marie and Alicia. It was directed by Richard Baird, who recently won an Arizoni Award for “Best Actor in a Major Role” for his portrayal of Petruchio in “Taming of the Shrew” last season. His interpretation highlights the darker side of the events going on in the story line. In fact, at intermission, my friend, Marie, this being her first Shakespeare play, asked if this really was a comedy. However, after the intermission, (and after the opening torture scene of Oliver), the comedy really began to show itself. In fact, the comparison of the evil events in the first half of the play, made the comedy scenes in the second half and the resolution of all the story lines even more enjoyable.
The entire casts performance was really strong, but my favorite character in this was Touchstone, the clown, wonderfully played by Eric Schoen who, thankfully is a frequent performer for SSC. Brennan Taylor, a new comer to SSC, was very good as Orlando, (especially in the shirtless wrestling match, wink, wink. Alicia will agree with me on this point!). Kaitlin O’Neal, who is always great, was good as Rosalind but our group thought someone younger should have played the part instead. O’Neal seemed older in the play than the actress who played her beloved cousin Celia (Lori McNally) and we felt they should be closer in age.
The set was beautiful, especially once they were all in the forest, and the costumes were, as usual, amazing! All in all, it was a very fun evening and an enjoyable play to attend. It will only be playing for 2 more weekends at the Mesa Arts Center and I highly recommend you go and see it before it is gone.