As You Like It

As You Like It

Looking at the schedule, I was commenting that Shakespeare’s As You Like It was a series of quotes, loosely a story strung together with some plot.

The original comment, looking at the schedule, ahead of time, “Look! As You Like, kind of a play without any plot, strung together with quotes. Like you, Kramer!” via a red-headed Capricorn.

All the world’s a stage,
And all the men and women merely players;
They have their exits and their entrances,
And one man in his time plays many parts,
His acts being seven ages. At first the infant,
Mewling and puking in the nurse’s arms.
Then the whining schoolboy, with his satchel
And shining morning face, creeping like snail
Unwillingly to school. And then the lover,
Sighing like furnace, with a woeful ballad
Made to his mistress’ eyebrow. Then a soldier,
Full of strange oaths, and bearded like the pard,
Jealous in honor, sudden, and quick in quarrel,
Seeking the bubble reputation
Even in the cannon’s mouth. And then the justice,
In fair round belly with good capon lin’d,
With eyes severe and beard of formal cut,
Full of wise saws and modern instances;
And so he plays his part. The sixt age shifts
Into the lean and slipper’d pantaloon,
With spectacles on nose, and pouch on side,
His youthful hose, well sav’d, a world too wide
For his shrunk shank, and his big manly voice,
Turning again toward childish treble, pipes
And whistles in his sound. Last scene of all,
That ends this strange eventful history,
Is second childishness, and mere oblivion,
Sans teeth, sans eyes, sans taste, sans every thing.

Jacques in Shakespeare’s As You Like It (II.vii.139-66)

Saw “opening night,” such as it was, and the first half seemed a bit choppy, but the crew got their collective act together, and the second half was outstanding. Simply outstanding. Might’ve been the searing heat, after the sun went down, it cooled off noticeably.

“You’re gone have to move over as ‘sparkle faerie,’ now,” along with a gentle elbow in the ribs. The closing scene, before the epilogue, includes a masque where Juno binds all the couples together in happy matrimony.

While there were some gentle gender reversals, Juno was a banjo-playing guy.

No, seriously, it worked really well, but this is Texas. University of Texas Winedale Shakespeare show. I don’t know what the plan is called. The actual troupe is historically correct in numbers and performances, except for the age and gender thing, but otherwise accurate, and the plays are done in an intimate setting, and it’s great. Worth the time to see.

Fairly classic interpretation, too, within it a veritable feast of language. Juno as a hairy-chested, banjo-playing hipster, though, in reality? Worked very well. But it capped what was a spirited show. He was dressed in the proper masque attire, just, well, we can always say, “It’s Austin.” Sure.

Extra credit for the wrestler: he lost an appendix just a few days earlier so a stand-in tagged in for the wrestling scene. Stunt double.

As You Like It

“Well said—that was laid on with a trowel.”

As You Like It

University of Texas at Winedale, runs Thursdays through Sundays? See listing for details, so very, very worth it.


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