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Home :: Archive :: 1996 :: June ::
Productions: AYLI and *King Lear*
Shakespeare Electronic Conference, Vol. 7, No. 0449.  Saturday, 15 June 1996.

(1)     From:   W. L. Godshalk <
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        Date:   Thursday, 13 Jun 1996 21:43:51 -0400
        Subj:   Review of the Pennsylvania Shakespeare Festival's As You Like It

(2)     From:   Chae Lian Diong <cd3t+@andrew.cmu.edu>
        Date:   Friday, 14 Jun 1996 13:04:11 -0400 (EDT)
        Subj:   Pittsburgh: KING LEAR


(1)----------------------------------------------------------------------------
From:           W. L. Godshalk <
 This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it
 >
Date:           Thursday, 13 Jun 1996 21:43:51 -0400
Subject:        Review of the Pennsylvania Shakespeare Festival's As You Like It

On June 11, I attended a preview of the Pennsylvania Shakespeare Festival's *As
You Like It* at Allentown College in (or near) Spring Valley, Pennsylvania.
Dennis Razze is the director, and the production is set in the eighteenth
century -- in a France reminiscent of Watteau's *Fete in a Park.*  The scenery
is in white silhouette, with three tiers of trees -- the front tier being
mobile and used for comic effect.  Different gates and doors are lowered to
indicate changes in locale, and during one of Ganymede's meetings with Orlando,
a swing is lowered for Ganymede to sport upon.  The costumes are, of course,
eighteenth century -- tricorns and breeches.  Although there is an "upper
stage," it is not extensively used in this production.

The action begins with Oliver (Jonathan Robinson) and Dennis (Kevin O'Donnell)
fencing.  Yes, it's not in the script, but it gives Orlando (Ian Merrill
Peakes) an excuse to complain to old Adam (William Preston) of his poor
breeding.  Rosalind (Callan White) is obviously older than Orlando in this
production -- a fact that perhaps emphasizes her maturity of vision. This older
woman has something to teach the younger Orlando. Nevertheless, Rosalind and
Celia (Elizabeth MacLellan) giggle a little too readily for my taste.  Not
every line demands an onstage laugh.

Mark LaMura plays both Duke Frederick and Duke Senior -- Duke Frederick in your
long, gray wig .  He does an excellent job of presenting (and distinguishing
between) the two older men.  (In last year's Pennsylvania Festival he played
Benedick.)  Touchstone (Terry Burgler) is a man of many different hats, and his
stage business mirrors his parodic function in the production. Alan Coates
plays an aristocratic, well-dressed Jaques (pronounced "Jakes" here). Marc and
Suzanne O'Donnell present a comic Silvius and Phebe.

The music is excellent. Brian Anthony Wilson (Amiens) has an operatic voice,
and the two young pages, Andrew Marsh and Nathaniel Myers,  are perfect. Marsh
also plays a stately Hymen.

The script is judiciously cut. For example,  Ganymede's puzzling lines to
Phebe, "If you will know my house,/'Tis at the tuft of olives here hard  by"
(3.5.74-75), are gone.  Some of the scenes have been rearranged.  Act 2, scene
4, is divided into two parts at line 14 -- and the second part placed later in
the action. Act 3, scene 1, is interpolated into Act 2, scene 7.  I suppose the
director was after a kind of montage effect.  Also, the outlaws remain on stage
while Orlando and Adam pass over (2.6).  (As I recall, Alan Dessen has
suggested this particular staging of 2.6.)

The production runs until June 29. I recommend it-- as well as dinner at the
close-by Spring Valley Inn.

(2)----------------------------------------------------------------------------
From:           Chae Lian Diong <cd3t+@andrew.cmu.edu>
Date:           Friday, 14 Jun 1996 13:04:11 -0400 (EDT)
Subject:        Pittsburgh: KING LEAR

The Unseam'd Shakespeare Company, in association with the University of
Pittsburgh's Theatre Department, presents their production of KING LEAR,
directed by David Pellegrini and starring Bill Caisley in the title role, and
Chae Lian as Cordelia.

Venue: Stephen Foster Memorial Theatre, Oakland
Dates: Previews June 26, 27 and runs June 28-30, July 3, 5-7, 10-13
Times: Wednesday-Saturday @ 8 PM; Sunday @ 2 PM
Tickets: $12 general admission; $6 students & senior citizens

For further information, contact the Box Office (412) 661-0244.
 

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