As You Like It | Performing Arts Review | Chicago Reader

As You Like It 

Sign up for our newsletters Subscribe

As You Like It, Festival Theatre. "We who are true lovers run into strange capers," declares the mischievous Touchstone--and four pairs of lovers pursuing one another through the English countryside all but guarantee odd adventures. Director Jack Hickey minimizes the lugubrious circumstances behind a quartet of nobles suddenly forced to fraternize with farmers, instead having fun with the confusion when the two cultures meet.

This Festival Theatre production relies on our imagination to augment a bare stage and contemporary casual costumes. These choices may be partly the result of budgetary concerns, but there's nothing untoward in returning to the spareness of Elizabethan stagecraft. The exuberant cast, assisted by Jordan Keller's pop-oriented score, keeps the show animated and the text coherent. Roxanne Fay projects a wholesome preppiness as Rosalind, while Steve Dunne infuses Touchstone's well-worn japes with fresh humor and delivers them with impeccable timing.

But what lingers in our minds is Scott Lynch-Giddings as the cynical Jaques. This production reveals the source of his wry humor and gloomy outlook in a deft turn, when Rosalind notes the "dog tags" identifying him as a war veteran. "To have seen much, and to have nothing, is to have rich eyes and poor hands," she remarks. "Yes, I have gained my Experience," he replies.

Support Independent Chicago Journalism: Join the Reader Revolution

We speak Chicago to Chicagoans, but we couldn’t do it without your help. Every dollar you give helps us continue to explore and report on the diverse happenings of our city. Our reporters scour Chicago in search of what’s new, what’s now, and what’s next. Stay connected to our city’s pulse by joining the Reader Revolution.

Are you in?

  Reader Revolutionary $35/month →  
  Rabble Rouser $25/month →  
  Reader Radical $15/month →  
  Reader Rebel  $5/month  → 

Not ready to commit? Send us what you can!

 One-time donation  → 


Subscribe to this thread:

Add a comment

Agenda Teaser

Performing Arts
February 08
Performing Arts
February 22

Popular Stories