If Shakespeare were writing today for TV, As You Like It would be one of Nick at NIte’s legacy comedies, so often is it produced and enjoyed. The melancholy Jaques aside, it’s always seemed to me a tad fluffy. While the tale of love, reconciliation and masquerade is the same, the Old Globe’s new summer festival production is sumptuous and full of surprises. Director Adrian Noble fills the Forest of Arden with merry song and dance (original music by Shaun Davey), while Ralph Funicello’s set pieces are whimsical – check out how he cleverly conceives trees and blue sky.
Dana Green is a live-wire Rosalind and Jacques C. Smith a not-too-melancholy Jaques, while Danielle O’Farrell makes a howling comic foil as the lovestruck (by the dressed-as-a-man Rosalind) Audrey.
This production of As You Like It, though lengthened by its musical inventions, also prospers by them.
David L. Coddon is theater critic for San Diego CityBeat