As You Like It, Or At Least Find It Decent

Last night I had the pleasure to see As You Like It at BAM, a production of The Bridge Project. I saw their fantastic production of Winter's Tale last year, and will be seeing their Tempest in a month or so. Given their play choices and the quality of this production of As You Like It I'd like to suggest a new slogan, The Bridge Project: Making Bad Plays Surprisingly Bearable.

I'm not going to talk much about the production except to say that it's solid, the cast is pretty great, and that the first half could have used some additional humor or cuts to make it move along more swiftly. If you've ever wanted to see a solid production of As You Like It, I suggest this one. If you don't know/remember which one As You Like It is, it's the one where the guy and girl fall in love, and the girl dresses up like a guy to teach the guy she loves how to be Super Husband-Slash-Lover.

But what I want to talk about SHAKESPEARE SPOILER ALERT is a little moment in the final scene. Rosalind-Dressed-As-A-man stands in front of everybody and reveals that she's going to make everything okay for everybody, and that she'll be right back in a few minutes. She goes offstage. Touchstone (the fool, played with aplomb by reasons to be pretty's Thomas Sadoski) gives a whole 5 minute monologue about how to verbally quarrel, the "Retort Courteous/Quip Modest" speech. This goes on for a short eternity, long enough to allow Rosalind to come back dressed all pretty pretty like a woman, and everybody gasps.

The reveal takes freaking forever. And as surprised as I was that Sadosky actually made the speech funnier than I ever though it was, where is the production with a decent costume designer that cuts or at least moves the speech? The production that has Rosalind say, "I'm going to fix all this", then suddenly a clever costume transformation onstage, and suddenly the man is a woman, and everybody gasps and you buy it?

Why isn't everybody doing that?

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