Donate Now to Support KDHX

Listen Live
Saturday, 21 April 2012 21:28

As You Like It: Not the Way I LIke It

Written by Connie Bollinger
Rate this item
(0 votes)

The Details

There’s nothing I love more than seeing young people participate in live theater, and I have a real soft spot for the works of Shakespeare. So I looked forward to experiencing Washington University’s production of Shakespeare’s As You Like It.

The merits of the play itself have been debated almost since its first performance and indeed, as with most Shakespeare pieces, As You Like It demands much from audience and actors. Actors must force their tongues around Elizabethan speech and keep up an incredible amount of energy throughout the performance. The audience is charged with keeping straight an impressive number of characters many of whom are cast in multiple roles, and must tune their ears to interpret and understand archaic speech patterns and phrases. It can be exhausting for everyone.

 

In the past I’ve experienced and enjoyed several college level productions of Shakespeare and usually what the actors lacked in experience they more than made up for in enthusiasm and energy. Unfortunately this was not the case here. I felt as if I were attending a read through or at best a dress rehearsal. There was little creativity in the way the characters were brought to life, no clarity in the delivery, and the attempt to be innovative in the set design was interesting but ineffective. A dozen framed 15 foot mirrors may have seemed a good idea in the planning stages and I’m sure everyone worked very hard on them but they were just silly.

 

The program notes assured us that the play would “hold the mirror up to a society of corruption and greed in a France of long ago”. Great. I was up for that; but in the very first scene a group of bedraggled poor people are marching in a circle with signs that bear present day slogans of the dissatisfaction of the 99%.  Director Annamaria Pileggi was attempting to “mirror” pre-revolutionary France with present day America. I get it. It just looked more like the opening of a Monty Python sketch to me.

 

Yanking the beard of the traditional may be fun and indeed, I’ve enjoyed a rowdy unconventional production or two of the Bard’s work, but what’s needed here is a little more expression in voice and faces, a lot more movement by the actors, a little more by way of set design to set some kind of mood, and a lot less change for change sake.

 

 

Additional Info

Sponsor Message

Become a Sponsor

Find KDHX Online

KDHX on Instagram
KDHX on YouTube
KDHX on SoundCloud
KDHX on Facebook
KDHX on Twitter
KDHX on flickr

Local Artist Spotlight


The Mound City Slickers

Mon August 4

The Driftaways

Mon July 28
The Driftaways are a seven-man reggae band hailing from St. Louis. Their E.P. "Don't Hide" is full of high-energy jams and groovy improvisations that give the band's music a good-time vibe. Download their…

KDHX Recommends

August
Saturday
23

Amelia White with Sergio Webb at Harvest Sessions 2014

Amelia White with Sergio Webb at Harvest Sessions 2014 Nashville, Tennessee-based songwriter Amelia White with guitarist Sergio Webb are this week's featured artists for Harvest Sessions. This free Saturday morning concert series takes place at the Tower Grove Farmers' Market,...


August
Friday
29

Small Black, Scarlet Tanager

KDHX welcomes Small Black to the Ready Room, with Scarlet Tanager. This event is all ages.


August
Saturday
30

Cave States at Harvest Sessions 2014

Cave States at Harvest Sessions 2014 Cave States makes its debut live performance at Harvest Sessions this week. The acoustic Americana band features veteran St. Louis musicians Danny Kathriner, Chris Grabau, Todd Schnitzer, John Higgins and John Horton. This free...


Get Answers!

If you have questions or need to contact KDHX, visit our answers portal at answers.kdhx.org.

Upcoming Events HAPPENING

Online Users

2 users and 9307 guests online
Sign in with Facebook

SYSTEM: S5 Box

Login/My Account

Sign in with Facebook