Friday, February 16, 2007

As You Like It - Lee Center for the Arts at Seattle University

As You Like It
Lee Center for the Arts At Seattle University
February 15-25, 2007
Call (206) 296-2244 for Tickets and Information

When an actor or director decides to take on a William Shakespeare play, it is not without some thought. The "Ye Olde English" dialog that is often made fun of in old Billy's plays is double edged-sword, scaring away the more skittish theater goers whilst enticing the die-hard and poetic souls of the dramatic world. It can be a difficult feat to make such a play accessible to all. Yet this is what happens in the Seattle University's Fine Arts Program's rendition of As You Like It.

The acting within the play is stellar. Even with the rather odd mirror of women playing men's roles (in Shakespeare's days, all women roles were played by men), the audience is ever swept into the world that is created for them. They believe it when Orlando (Damian Peterson) and Rosalind (Cozy Josephson) talk about their mutual love and when Duke Frederick (Katherine Manteca) punishes Oliver (Colleen Egan). A good percentage of the cast plays double roles, each with their own distinctive personality. By far not an easy feat, it comes off flawlessly and with little question on the part of the audience. Some of the As You Like It actors are also talented singers and their voices add a sweet sound to the show.

Concerning the technical aspects, the key word seems to be "surprise". Whether it's the lighting (D.M. Moon) or the music (Dominic CodyKramers), As You Like It likes to keep it's audience members on their toes. Unfortunately, this can not be described without potentially ruining the fun for any person reading this review who has yet to see the show. Just remember; nothing is exactly as it appears. From beginning to end, the audience is left second guessing most every part of the show. Director Jon Kazanjian did a wonderful job with his resources.

So whether the theater goer is steadfast or completely new to the scene, As You Like It should delight them.

Review by Jack Jarden

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