As You Like It – don’t go expecting classic Shakespeare – runs to Sept 4, 2022 in High Park
As You Like It is a classic Shakespearean romantic comedy for the ages that comes vividly to life in High Park. After Rosalind and her cousin Celia escape the Duke’s court, they flee in disguise to the fantastical Forest of Arden. But who (and what!) they find there are beyond their wildest dreams. Featuring new music by Serena Ryder, Kiran Ahluwalia, and Maryem Toller, along with production design by Shadowland Theatre, As You Like It is an epic return to the beloved Toronto tradition of Shakespeare in High Park. Shakespeare’s brilliantly funny play is directed by Anand Rajaram.
Yes, this is a Shakespeare title, but this production is so chopped up that you’d never know it, and comes across more as a high school play than a professional presentation. The (intended) laughs were mostly lost on the audience, the set design and costumes looked like they work with a minimal budget, and all but one of the actors could carry off any form of the Shakespearean-era dialogue. Although, the intention was to mix modern day with century old conversation, again this seemed like a failure.
Several in the crowd worked their way to the exit before the finale, albeit it was a very chilly evening for August, and many didn’t dress accordingly. Also, a note to the production team, as this seems to be attracting a younger demographic non-theatre crowd who think they can casually show up at any point (i.e. at the half-way point), I think there needs to be regular theatre rules put in place to only allow admittance at certain intervals and have a firm cut off time for admittance. It’s not only distracting for those watching the production, but also for the actors on stage. As for bringing bags of chips and merrily passing the bag to your friends, please don’t, as that’s just rude.
High Park Amphitheatre – 1873 Bloor Street West, Toronto
About the Author
Bryen Dunn is a freelance journalist with a focus on travel, lifestyle, entertainment and hospitality. He has an extensive portfolio of celebrity interviews with musicians, actors and other public personalities. He enjoys discovering delicious eats, tasting spirited treats, and being mesmerized by musical beats.