Past Reviews

Regional Reviews: Washington, D.C.

As You Like It
Folger Theatre
Review by Susan Berlin | Season Schedule


Lorenzo Roberts, Lindsay Alexandra Carter, and
Antoinette Robinson

Photo by Teresa Wood
As You Like It is one of William Shakespeare's less plot-driven comedies; the opening scenes set up the situation of people coping with anger and difficult circumstances, but much of the subsequent humor and drama comes from the layered interaction among the characters. Director Gaye Taylor Upchurch and her 14-member cast have worked together to craft a warm, engaging production at Washington's Folger Theatre.

Rosalind (Lindsay Alexandra Carter) is the daughter of Duke Senior (Allen McCullough), who has been driven from court by his brother Duke Frederick (also McCullough). When Rosalind angers her uncle and is forced to leave, she travels in male disguise to the Forest of Arden, where her father lives with some followers, accompanied by her cousin Celia (stalwart Antoinette Robinson) and the court fool Touchstone (Aaron Krohn).

Of course, before she left court Rosalind fell in love at first sight with Orlando (Lorenzo Roberts), a guileless young man cheated of his inheritance by his older brother Oliver (Michael Glenn). Orlando follows Rosalind to Arden, where he finds her again in an unrecognizable form and learns something about love.

Shakespeare wisely sprinkled the play with minor characters who make an impression, including melancholy philosopher Jaques, played by Tom Story, who gives the “Seven Ages of Man” speech a quietly moving, matter-of-fact tone; Andrey (Kimberly Chatterjee), an enthusiastic shepherdess who fascinates the worldly, rather snide Touchstone; and Phoebe (Dani Stoller), pursued by earnest Silvius (Brian Reisman) but drawn to the supposedly male Rosalind.

John McDermott's minimalist scenic design, with its decorative panels and floral garlands, allows space for maximum movement; choreographer Alexandra Beller has crafted both elegant dances for the court and rowdier entertainment in the forest. (Arden seems to be located somewhere in the Appalachians, based on Heather Christian's down-home tunes to Shakespeare's lyrics and the accompaniment of guitars, harmonica, fiddle, and kazoo.)

The production is in modern dress with a few flourishes from costume designer Charlotte Palmer-Lane, specifically Touchstone's outrageous suits and the costume for court wrestler Charles (Will Hayes).

Folger Theatre
As You Like It
January 24th – March 5th, 2017
By William Shakespeare
Rosalind: Lindsay Alexandra Carter
Audrey: Kimberly Chatterjee
Oliver: Michael Glenn
Charles: Will Hayes
Adam and Corin: Jeff Keogh
Touchstone: Aaron Krohn
Duke Senior and Duke Frederick: Allen McCullough
Silvius: Brian Reisman
Musician and Ensemble: Daven Ralston
Orlando: Lorenzo Roberts
Celia: Antoinette Robinson
Phoebe: Dani Stoller
Jaques: Tom Story
Dennis and William: Cody Wilson
Directed by Gaye Taylor Upchurch
In association with Hudson Valley Shakespeare Festival
Folger Shakespeare Library, Elizabethan Theatre
201 E. Capitol St., SE
Washington, DC
Ticket Information: 202-544-7077 or www.folger.edu


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