“As You Like It,” by William Shakespeare, is given a sparkling production by the Declan Adams Theater Group, featuring a young and attractive troupe of actors. The director, Jeffrey Morris, sets an energetic pace, and achieves clear articulation from the cast.
One was able to hear and understand famous quotes from the play including “All the world’s a stage, and all the men and women merely players. They have their exits and their entrances; and one man in his time plays many parts.”
The complicated relationship scenario has Rosalind (Jenny Ashman) falling in love with Orlando (Jeff Holden) after he wins a fight he was supposed to lose, causing her to be banished from the court, taking with her cousin Celia (Lovelle Liquigan) to the Forest of Arden. Orlando, chased by his hateful older brother Oliver (Erwin Tuazon), also escapes to the forest. Rosalind has disguised herself as Ganeymede (a male).
The mass wedding ceremony includes Orlando and Rosalind, and Phoebe, since she cannot marry Ganeymede, is stuck with Silvius (Frank Astran). Oliver, now reformed, loves Celia, and Touchstone (Zack Price) has claimed sexy Audrey (Eliza Kiss).
Special mention goes to Jeff Holden for his mastery of the flow of words, Jenny Ashman for humor in handling her two roles, Liquigan and Tuazon for their vigorous energy, and especially Frank Astran as Adam and Silvius. In these two outstanding roles, his focused intensity draws attention first as Orlando’s starving servant and in the second act as Silvius, the lumbering love-sick swain.
“As You Like It” is at the Next Stage Theatre (1523 N. La Brea, Los Angeles, CA). Performances are Saturdays at 8pm, ending June 20. Admission is $15. For reservations, call (213) 926-2726.