Seattle Shakespeare Company’s “As You Like It”

Spring time! Birds are nesting; bees are pollinating, and love is in the air! It’s a perfect time to see “As You Like It,” Shakespeare’s most unabashedly love-struck play. And the current production is one of the best I’ve seen.

From the opening to the joyous finale, Director George Mount has made sure that everything is, dare I say it, as you like it. With minimal but effective staging he and Craig B. Wollam have created a Forest of Arden sufficient for chance encounters, large gatherings, and diverse settings.

Doris Black’s costumes ring true whether they are luscious court gowns or simple milkmaid togs. The lighting (Roberta Russell) and sound (Robertson Witmer and Evan Mosher) reinforce mood. The sweet music forms a background for love, fantasy, and forest trysts. And the acting is first class.

Hanna Lass as Rosalind, the sweet young thing who is banished from court and disguises herself as the lad Ganymede, is a master at coquettish eyes, sweet desolation, and bravado. Her role as written is a tad too contrived in the second act, but she does as well as one could with it.

David Pichette as the somewhat wistful Jacques makes the “All the world’s a stage….” speech sound absolutely fresh. I just wish I could name every cast member. Alas, I can’t, but I can say that the whole ensemble captures the mood of the piece and gives it a glow.

Here is love real and imagined, unrequited and fulfilled, and we experience it through the ups and downs of not one but four couples. It is a delectable spring morsel.

Through June 24 by Seattle Shakespeare Company at Center House Theatre in Seattle Center (733-8228 or www.seattleshakespeare.org).

Leave a Reply