Sunday, December 11, 2022

As You Like It: 😎 😎 😎

"How do you make the magic real?" sings the cast of San Francisco Playhouse's new musical version of Shakespeare's "As You Like It." There is magic indeed in the sets, especially when Arden forest appears out of nowhere, aided by some impressive lighting and screen projections. Whenever DeanalΓ­s Arocho Resto is on center stage, her beautiful voice and presence make us smile. And Shaina Taub and Laurie Woolery's score gives us three excellent songs, "All the World's a Stage," "When I'm Your Wife," and "Still I Will Love."

But there are sixteen other songs and some of them are doozies. The singing never stops. A character enters Stage Left, meets the first character he/she runs into, falls helplessly in love, faces the audience, sings a song and either exits Stage Right or fights a duel with evil. We get hip hop dancers and lines like "I'll love you when you're menopausalind, Rosalind." 

Michael Gene Sullivan is one of our favorite San Francisco actors. It turns out he can sing! This is a nice surprise.

We do not claim to be exempt from fuddiduddiness. The existential role of every theater in America is to try and encourage a younger audience into the theater. In Shakespeare's day, all female roles were played by men. In our day, gender is fluid. After all, as someone said on Tik Tok, "Love looks not with the eyes but with the mind."


The San Francisco Theater Blog Elizabethan/Tik-Tok Rating System awards "As You Like It" Three Smiling Faces with Sunglasses. San Francisco Playhouse, as always, takes chances with its shows. This one works when it works. Certain characters will irritate some audiences. It's campy, silly and fun. 

 "As You Like It"

San Francisco Playhouse

450 Post St. San Francisco 

(Second floor of Kensington Hotel)

Through Jan. 14, 2023


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