‘As You Like It’, by Actors’ Shakespeare Project

As You Like It’ –  By William Shakespeare; Directed by Robert Walsh; Presented by Actors’ Shakespeare Project at The
Springstep Bldg, 98 Geo. P. Hassett Dr., Medford, MA.
through May 18th, 2014.


The folks at
Actors’ Shakespeare Project (ASP) are bringing a lively, action-packed and
colorful presentation of Shakespeare’s endearing comedy to Medford right now.
If you think you know Shakespeare or think it’s not for you, drop by the
Springstep Building and be prepared to be dazzled and entertained! There are
well-choreographed fights, lively songs, lovely lasses and bawdy humor as well
as romance and mistaken identity to fuel the plot and keep you hanging on every


Brooke Hardman
will win the admiration of the women in the audience and the hearts of the men
as she digs into the role of Rosalind, considered one of Shakespeare’s most complete
and fully-formed female characters. She giggles like a schoolgirl with a crush,
and then reprimands her love with a harsh tongue almost in the same breath. She
cunningly hides out in the woods of Arden dressed as a man, banished by a harsh
Duke who would otherwise have her imprisoned, back in “civilization”.


Ms. Hardman seems
eager to revel in the role’s many opportunities to laugh and gallivant about
the stage, and little wonder, as a resident actor at ASP she has most recently
been playing more serious Shakespearian roles. She is joined by Mara Sidmore,
another resident acting company member who livens up the stage with her own
lovable antics and energetic performance. Mara plays Celia, her loyal cousin
who opts to flee with Rosalind to the Forest of Arden rather than stay with her
own father, the current Duke Frederick, usurper of Duke Senior, Rosalind’s
father. There she meets a cast of characters including her recently met
heartthrob, Orlando.


of the testament to Shakespeare’s overwhelming talent is the fact that so many
of his phrases are still in use – or at least recognizable – today, 400 years
later. In this play for instance, one can spot the classic line “too much
of a good thing” and while not of his own invention, Shakespeare kept some
sayings alive and well such as “neither rhyme nor reason”. We get to
marvel at the wonderful Jennie Israel, a founding member of ASP, delivering the
famous monologue that opens with “All the world’s a stage…” She
goes on to dissect the seven stages of a man’s life to gales of laughter from
the eclectic crowd in attendance. The audience clearly appreciated the talented
cast tackling the tongue-twisting verses, at times chuckling with empathy at
the rare stumble from a cast member.

With eleven
actors playing over twenty roles, not only was this a large cast (for today’s
local theatre scene) but everyone onstage was a joy to behold. From the
flamboyant and funny introduction by Jared Michael Brown to the final scene
every actor brought fun and excitement to the evening. I would be amiss however
not to point out the award-winning local actress Paula Plum bringing so much
mischievous wit and humor to the role of Touchstone, the jester. She was a
bright spot, even on a stage of stars. The lovely voice and sweet demeanor of
Katie Elinoff in her ASP debut stood out and is certainly worthy of mention as
well. The aforementioned Brooke Hardman in the main role was ably joined by
Jesse Hinson as her love interest, Orlando.


While the
multi-level stage at first seemed sparse, there were a few clever surprises in
store for the audience. Costumes were interesting in that they were from
various eras, but did an effective job of quickly identifying the station of
the character, whether rich or poor, haughty or lowly-born, serious or funny in

time-tested writing is genius, yet still just words on a page until it’s put in
the hands of talented directors like Robert Walsh, skilled actors like those at
ASP and creative design people, then the true genius is revealed. For a new
look at classic literature join the company at ASP for a truly enjoyable
evening. For more info go to: http://www.actorsshakespeareproject.org/


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