American Players Theatre Presents AS YOU LIKE IT Review – Charming Love Story

Chinese lanterns and flower garlands drape across the stage under a moonlit and starry sky. Music is playing in the air to aid in this happy atmosphere. It’s the culmination of AS YOU LIKE IT, where love is in the air and everyone is paired with their true loves.

American Players Theatre AS YOU LIKE IT
American Players Theatre AS YOU LIKE IT

American Players Theatre Lesson in Love

The forest is a magical place of wonder where people with good hearts are banished, but love flourishes. Before being banished into the woods, Rosalind and Orlando fell in love at first sight when Orlando triumphantly defeats a champion wrestler. However, they barely have a chance to see where this romance goes before both of them need to run away into the forest. When they meet again, Rosalind is disguised as a man has the opportunity to teach Orlando a thing or two about being in love with a woman.

Of course, what play would be complete without a cast of loveable sidekicks who are also chasing after love? Alongside Orlando and Rosalind, AS YOU LIKE IT follows all the different paths each couple takes as they find their ways in love.

Keeping The Story Simple

This production of AS YOU LIKE IT stays very true to Shakespeare’s original work. The costumes give a slight nod to the late 1800s time period— royal ladies are dressed in brightly colored bustle skirts and the gentlemen in three piece suits. These costumes, along with a minimalist set made of budding trees to emulate a forest, don’t take away from the simplicity of the story.

Bringing Shakespeare’s Words to Life

AS YOU LIKE IT is one of Shakespeare’s less action-forward plays. In this writer’s view, even without drama and action, the cast does an excellent job engaging with their audience by accentuating the jokes both in their speech, pauses, facial expressions, and body language. Most notably Marcus Truschinski, playing the clown Touchstone, has us rolling in our seats with his slapstick comedy and overdramatic sensibilities.  But it’s Melisa Pereya that steals the show and rightly so as the leading lady. Upon her first meeting Orlando, she has an innocent awkwardness that reminds us of how it feels to have a budding crush. And by the end when she gives the closing epilogue, we can’t help but smile as she addresses both men and women of the audience and charms us with her endearing nature.

Shakespeare’s classic AS YOU LIKE IT is a simple love story that leaves everyone happy.   All ends are tied up in nice neat bows. It might not be a good pick for those looking for a drama or more fast paced play. But for those who like comedy and a happy ending, this one is for you.

American Players Theatre AS YOU LIKE IT

When

Now through October 7, 2018
Performance schedule varies, please see website for more details

Where

American Players Theatre
The Hill Theatre
5950 Golf Course Rd.
Spring Green, WI 53588

Tickets

$56-$84
Tickets can be purchased through the American Players Theatre website

Photo by Liz Lauren

CAST

Andrea San Miguel
Melisa Pereyra
Marcus Truschinski
Chris Klopatek
John Pribyl
Nate Burger
Michael Goldstein
Casey Hoekstra
Juan Rivera Lebron
Brian Mani
David Daniel
Cher Desiree Àlvarez
Jack Schmitt
Tracy Michelle Arnold
Christian Wilson
Roberto Tolentino
Tim Gittings
Eric Schabla
Emily Daly
Alejandro Cordoba
Kelsey Brennan
Roberto Tolentino
John Pribyl

CREATIVE

James Bohnen
Susan Sweeney
Robert Morgan
Michael Ganio
Michael A. Peterson
Gregg Coffin
Brian Byrnes
Kirsten Jones
Bob Willoughby
Rivka Kelly
Rebecca Lindsey

Alexis Bugajski Photo: Liz Lin

About the Author

Alexis is a theater reviewer, travel bug, media specialist, and burger & beer enthusiast. During the day she works in the advertising business as a senior communications designer. When night falls, or when she can escape to New York, she’s hitting the theaters to see as many shows as she can. And whenever she’s not at her desk or in the audience, she’s out seeking the best burger and beer offerings in Chicago.

Editor's Note:  Click here to read more Picture this Post articles by Alexis Bugajski

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