Suzi (k00kaburra) wrote,

As You Like It

San Jose Rep is currently performing As You Like It, and since this seems to be the Year of Shakespeare for me Seanie and I decided to get tickets. (It helps that the Rep had a buy one, get one free promotion running.) It's been a year or two since I last saw a show by the Rep, but they usually have good entertainment.

So As You Like It was placed in an ambiguous setting, at an amorphous time. Sometimes it looked modern, like at the beginning of the play when Orlando and Charles wrestle in a WWF-styled arena, but when Rosalind and Celia flee to the forest of Arden the costumes and possessions of the characters slip into something more likely found at the turn of 20th century:

Very pretty, though.

The director made an interesting choice - I don't know if this is a common occurance in performances of this play - in having Jacques and Adam played by the same actor. As Jacques is giving the famous 'All the world's a stage' monologue, he strips down out of his finer clothes and becomes older and hunched as he speaks, until at the end of the monologue as he says 'sans teeth, sans taste' etc Jacques has disappeared and the actor has become the shriveled husk of Adam, the aged servant of Orlando. It's pretty cool; the two characters don't look at all similar so if you weren't paying close attention to the faces, it wouldn't be noticeable until that moment that the actor had been playing Adam before. It was just beautifully done. The rest of the cast was quite good, too, but that one scene really stuck with me.

I hate digital sets. Just gotta say it. I think it's boring when everything is just tossed up a screen behind the actors without three-dimensional props. But they did pretty well with them in this production; the screens complimented the props instead of replacing them. Tables and chairs (and a rusted out car) were still on the stage, and actual snow fell instead of a digital projection in the background, so it looked very cool. Gold star for actually using technology effectively!
Tags: comedy, play, san jose rep, shakespeare, theatre

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