Wednesday, March 5, 2008

Coming Attractions: "As You Like It"

Overlapping with performances of Measure for Measure, we're now in full-time rehearsal mode for the beloved comedy As You Like It, opening March 28.

Directed by Andrew Hamm, with costumes designed by Rebecca Cairns, the show stars Patrick Bromley, Frank Creasy, Sunny LaRose, Adam Mincks, and Julia Rigby. Frank is a mainstay of our stage, having appeared in A Midsummer Night's Dream, Twelfth Night, and The Tempest, the latter which also showcased Patrick's comedic skills. It's been a decade since Sunny has played with Richmond Shakespeare, and Julia and Adam are both making their debuts with us.

This production celebrates Richmond Shakespeare's (then the Encore Theatre Company's) first-ever Shakespearean production over a decade ago, and is being presented in our trademark five-actor format, complete with cross-dressing and chaos. I've been describing it as "a love letter to the five-actor format." Patrick plays both the romantic Orlando and the love-struck Audrey. Frank begins as the usurping Duke Frederick and finishes the play as the melancholy Jaques, who muses, "All the world's a stage..." Sunny is our story's hero, the brilliant Rosalind, who disguises herself as a boy; she also gives a hilarious turn as the bumpkin William. Adam is our big character actor, playing the flamboyant LeBeau, the wicked older brother Oliver, the clown Touchstone, and the, ahem, "irresistible" Phebe. Julia brings spunk and smarts to Celia and unrequited devotion to poor spurned Silvius.

Somehow, four couples must be married by the end of this show. How that's going to work with only five actors? You'll have to come out and see.

It's a play about love and hate, devotion and despair, brothers and cousins, fathers and daughters, country life versus city life. Mostly, though, it's about a girl dressed as a boy pretending to be a girl. Comedy!

We began the rehearsal process by working with ComedySportz's Christine Walters on improv, then Jill Bari Steinberg on multiple-character skills, and these two ladies have really made their mark on this show. I'm now in the process of composing the music for the show, and I'm pretty excited about finally taking advantage of the fact that our theatre has a Bosendorfer baby grand piano in it...

The show previews on March 27th and opens on the 28th. Don't miss it!

1 comment:

Frank Creasy said...

As one of the actors, I'm completely biased, I know...but this production is shaping up as a wonderful collaboration between director and cast. This doesn't mean every actor's choice is accepted or that there's a lack of direction (quite the opposite), but that the creative process, often driven by scene rehearsal improvisation, is generating some really beautiful work.

I'm excited. Lots of work to do in the next two weeks, but the potential is pretty exciting.