Paul and I went to see Shakespeare’s As You Like It on Friday night at the Pittsburgh Public Theater.
I really enjoy seeing Shakespeare staged, especially the comedies, so I was expecting to enjoy it. I wasn’t expecting it to fly by as quickly as it did. I was surprised when the intermission started. We’d been watching for almost 90 minutes, and I had no idea. The show really swept me into the action.
If you’re not familiar with the story, two cousins, Rosalind and Celia, are each the daughters of the banished Duke and the new Duke, his brother. The new Duke decides to exile Rosalind, and Celia refuses to let her cousin leave without her. Rosalind dresses as a man because they think that will help keep them a little safer. They buy a farm and settle into life in the forest.
Meanwhile, Orlando, a young man who caught Rosalind’s eye just before she fled, also has to leave his home because of his older brother’s undeserved wrath. Orlando also goes to the forest, where he’s taken in by Rosalind’s estranged father. He wanders around carving poems about Rosalind into trees. Rosalind meets him in the forest, and instead of revealing herself sets to advising and testing him.
Things get complicated when a local girl falls in love with Rosalind’s male persona. Then Orlando’s brother comes to the forest to find him, but gets himself into trouble with a lion and a snake. After Orlando rescues him, he has a change of heart and he falls in love with Celia on first sight.
Rosalind arranges a few things, and the next day, four couples are married.
The actress playing Rosalind was amazing, and the actor playing both Dukes managed an impressive transformation. If the playbill hadn’t told me that it was the same actor, I never would have been able to tell. It was fun and funny and sweet. And there was singing! The show is open for a few more days, if you can get there, you should.