As You Like It

January 17, 2011
The Chicago Shakespeare Theater’s performance of As You Like It was an entertaining play to watch. The small, intimate theater and the fact that the actors didn’t need to wear microphones made the theater a great atmosphere for the play. Walking into it, I didn’t think I would be able to understand a lot of it because I didn’t know the basic plot and I find Shakespeare hard to understand at times. Luckily, the actors’ performances, whether it was their facial expressions or their hand gestures, helped clear up any misunderstandings I had.
When the play first started, the first thing that stuck out to me was how old the performers were. I expected them to be young twenty year olds and I was shocked to find that they weren’t. After I got over this initial shock however, some of the performers that really stuck out to me were Phillip James Brannon, who played Touchstone, and Kate Fry, who played Rosalind. Brannon’s performance as the clown was very enjoyable to watch. He brought youth and spunk to the stage and his lines were the only ones that I understood completely. Being the clown, it was obvious that he was meant to bring some levity to the play, but Brannon’s over-the-top gestures made everything he said that much better to watch. Fry, on the other hand, stuck out for the opposite reason. I found her performance to be rather bland and her character to be whiny and insecure. Even though she was one of the main characters, I found my attention was drawn more to whatever actor or actress she was talking to, rather than her. It seemed that all the other performers outshined her and she just faded into the background.
Overall, I enjoyed the Chicago Shakespeare Theater’s performance of As You Like It. Despite the difficulty of Shakespeare’s words, I was able to understand most of the play thanks to the actors, and was impressed, for the most part, by all of their performances.





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