A small cast for a small theater as the cast of "AS You Like It" played sold out shows Nov. 11-13 in the intimate setting of the Bronwyn Dodson Theatre.
Shakespear's romantic comedy was well preformed, and I have yet to be disappoined with the Fullerton College's Theatre Arts Department.
In this Shakespearean take, two brothers struggle to resolve their problems as those around them search to find love in Arden, a forest for the exiled.
The characters manage to work their way through the primogeniture (inheritance to the eldest child), aliases and disguises and the Utopian feel of the forest to happily end the play with four married couples.
Although the play is set in a foreign land, it still refers to English customs. This inherent contrast in the play in accentuated more by the contemporary manner in which the directors and case performed. The play was presented with a contemporary style, using popular music hits, popular fashion in costuming and visuals of the modern world: Starbucks, OC Employment and Post-Its.
Despite the contemporary feel, however, the dialogue and interactions of the play were kept in line with the original scripting.
The company of characters was well cast. Main players, Orlando (West Cooley), Rosaline/"Ganymede" (Nicole Wessel) and Celie/"Aliena" (Katt Mclaren) did an amazing job portraying their carefree and lighthearted characters finding their way though an unknown land of exile meeting shepherds and comedy relief was abound with William (Sy Mobley) skateboarding through Arden Park as a sign twirler. With his iPod in pocket and headphones in ears, the audience could hear his musical choice as he danced his way across the stage.
Touchstone (Paul Villano) also provided comedy relief with his love for Audrey (Chelsea Mallon), a country wench who, in the portrayal, was displayed as a promiscuous young women, always having to be snatched away from the wooing arms of another man.
Agostino Bommarito did and amazing job playing two parts, both Duke Frederick the usurper and Duke Senior, his brother living in banishment among the shepherds in Arden, much like Robin Hood and his merry men.
Applause must be given to scenic designs and artists Chuck Ketter and Aaron Benson for the simple yet amazing set at to directors Kelly Todd and Steven Pliska for an extraordinary dictatorial work.
The only complaints I can voice have to do with the speaking of lines, which seemed a little rushed and at times, forgotten.
The other complaint has nothing to do with this particular production at all, but has to do with the Shakespearean dialogue itself.
Just as any other Shakespeare play, it is difficult to understand the reading of lines let alone listening to them with no Cliff's notes in front of you.
However, the production did try to offset this issue by including a very detailed summary of the scenes taking places so that the audience could follow along.
The cast also helped compensate for the confusing vernacular bu doing a fantastic job of, well, acting. The whole idea behind acting it to play the part so wee; the audience can understand what is going on without even hearing the lines.
The ability to do this, the comedy relief and the modern appeal of the play made "As You Like IT" a new favorite for me.
Bravo, bravo indeed.