Already closed | 1h 40m | East Village

As You Like It (Classic Stage Company)

From 139 member  reviews
Members say: Entertaining, Great acting, Delightful, Clever, Disappointing

About the show

The Bay Street Theater cast reprise their roles in John Doyle's music-infused production of Shakespeare's pastoral romance at Classic Stage Company. Featuring Oscar winner Ellen Burstyn. More…

An exiled Duke, his banished daughter, a gentleman in love, and a melancholy traveler. Classic Stage Company artistic director John Doyle and Oscar-winning composer Stephen Schwartz bring Shakespeare’s beloved romantic comedy–with its lovers in disguise, troubadours in trouble, and some of Shakespeare’s most beloved characters–to life in this pared-down production.

1h 40m | Already closed | Classic Stage Company (East Village)

Member Reviews (139)


Entertaining, Great acting, Delightful, Clever, Disappointing
Avg Score

Slow, Confusing, Indulgent, Great cast, Disappointing

See it if You already know and love this play. I admit I have a hard time sometimes with Shakespeare but I think I would get more w/better direction.

Don't see it if You don’t already know this play. The minimalist approach (again!) makes it very hard to decipher what’s going on.

Also When does a director’s style become known as a one trick pony? I’ve li... Read more Read less

Enchanting, Cliched, Silly, Fluffy, Disappointing

See it if You love Shakespeare comedies and would like to see a somewhat entertaining rendition. It was light-hearted and amusing.

Don't see it if While the language was pretty, overall I found the play boring. A bunch of corny love affairs and sweet songs in the forest.

Disappointing, Great acting, Slow, Overrated, Frustrating

See it if you must catch every Shakespeare play every time 1 comes around, for a great performance by Hannah Cabell, enjoy suggestive staging by lamps

Don't see it if you want Shakespeare uncut, prefer a realistic Arden, want to see some ardor between Orlando/Rosalind, confused by diverse casting

Also The great Andre de Shields is lots of fun and over-exuberant while oth... Read more Read less

Boring, Mediocre, Conspicuous lack of comedy, intensity, or entertainment

See it if you'll be satisfied with well-meaning but joyless recitations of Shakespeare

Don't see it if you expect a show to do more than trade on famous names (Shakespeare/Doyle/Burstyn) to earn its applause

Also This show reinforces why people dislike Shakespeare: it’s dull, antiqu... Read more Read less

Ambitious, Funny, Great staging, Disappointing, Overrated

See it if you enjoy traditional Shakespeare with a dash of original music added.

Don't see it if you saw the Central Park production and want to compare them, this production pales in comparison

Entertaining, Quirky, Funny, Ambitious

See it if you like different productions of Shakespeare, want music in it, & want to see Ms. Burstyn

Don't see it if don't want the script cut or bare -bones scenery; want period costumes; want to feel romantic connections with the couples

Also I was entertained throughout but by individual scenes - more like a va... Read more Read less

Entertaining, Funny, Great writing

See it if you're interested in seeing an abbreviated version of the play with some incidental music by Stephen Schwartz. Some lovely vignettes.

Don't see it if you like your Shakespeare big with a large cast and elaborate scenery and costumes.

Enchanting, Confusing, Great acting

See it if Only have 90 minutes to see As You Like It "light". Still retain some of the poetry.

Don't see it if Don't know the play as too much may have been excised.

Clever, Funny, Great acting, Entertaining, Refreshing

See it if You like new versions of Shakespeare that are focused on the words and actors. Love this intimate version with fantastic actors.

Don't see it if You want to see classically staged Shakespeare. This one is lotsa fun.

Fun staging, Unnecessary updating muddies some language, Actors’ delight is infectious

See it if You love the play and want to see it in a different framework.

Don't see it if You like your Shakespeare pure.

Also a good-natured performance with purportedly a Jazz Age backdrop, notes... Read more Read less


See it if Ellen Burstyn within a few feet. Hard-acting, dedicated actors.

Don't see it if Looking for revelatory, masterclass theater.

Great acting, Entertaining, Interesting lighting

See it if Top notch acting, loaded with energy and believable characters. Cabell is a standout as Rosalind.

Don't see it if Do not have patience to carefully listen. I found it a little difficult getting through the first 20 minutes, but it then picked up.

Entertaining, Funny, Fluffy, Quirky, Indulgent

See it if You like simplified Shakespeare done well, with little pretense, and a light touch.

Don't see it if You’re looking for a star turn. We were excited to see Ellen Burstyn, and she was perfectly fine, but had very little to do.

Ambitious, Clever, Great acting, Slow, Quirky

See it if you love the play, Ellen Burstyn, André De Shields or you want to see an outstanding performance from Hannah Cabell.

Don't see it if you are looking for some interesting insight into the text or any particularly interesting staging

Entertaining, Quirky, Fast-paced, Clever, Mediocre

See it if you like the idea of a compressed AYLI. It is short. If you want to see Andre DeShields and Ellen Burstyn. You want to hear Schwartz's music

Don't see it if you are looking for traditional Shakespeare, you don't like it when actors talk fast, or if you don't like Shakespeare, in general.

Entertaining, Great acting, Great writing

See it if You love Shakespeare. It's worth it just to hear Ellen Burstyn recite the famed "7 ages of man" monologue. plus the Stephen Schwartz music

Don't see it if You have a weak bladder - it's an hour and 45 minutes - no intermission.

Confusing, Disappointing, Great writing, Frustrating, Quirky

See it if you enjoy seeing all the different things that directors can do to Shakespeare to improve it and "make it relevant", such as excessive cuts.

Don't see it if you don't enjoy seeing good actors who have apparently been instructed to downplay the text, many of them wearing dreadful costumes.

Also It is possible to speak Shakespeare intelligently and clearly without ... Read more Read less

Clever, Entertaining, Great acting, Delightful, Fun

See it if you enjoy John Doyle productions; its a truncated version of the show with some (not enough) music. Acting is really good.

Don't see it if you like your Shakespeare funny--there are few laughs here, despite the stellar cast

Quirky, Indulgent, Disappointing

See it if you want to get your Shakespeare over fast. Ellen Burstyn embodies grace and finesse; some of the other cast members are good.

Don't see it if you want an interesting take on the play. Music is weak; the cast performs as though in a race against the clock. The sense & joy are lost.

Banal, Disappointing, Slow, Indulgent, Overrated

See it if you have no experience with Shakespeare or great drama. This is a play that can be magical but here is dull and devoid of romance and fun

Don't see it if you want your romance delivered with panache and passion. There is nothing here to raise it above the mundane and pedestrian

Disappointing, Overrated, Slow

See it if You already know the plot - otherwise, this pared down version is difficult to follow. If you want to see a different interpretation.

Don't see it if You are expecting a great new interpretation of the beloved play [it isn't] or you are going to see Ellen Burstyn [she barely has a role]

Clever, Delightful, Confusing, Great writing, Refreshing

See it if you are a Shakespeare fan or want to see a new take on an old creation

Don't see it if you can't sit through a play with no intermission or can't follow Shakespeare's intricate plotlines

Entertaining, Funny, Great acting, Great writing, Romantic

See it if you want to see the great Ellen Burstyn deliver one of the Bard's great speeches ("All the world's a stage...")

Don't see it if you're a Shakespeare purist.


See it if you want a quick summary of the classic.

Don't see it if you are expecting great Shakespearean actors. Some in the cast are good but others are not.

Also The music, and I love musicals, adds nothing to the show. As a matter ... Read more Read less

Great acting, Entertaining, Clever, Quirky

See it if you know the play and want to see a delightful & concise version with a very talented cast.

Don't see it if you don't like Shakespeare or you love complete Shakespeare or you hate concepts.

September 28th, 2017
"So cut down it has bled out...You can get a glimmer of what Doyle is after: a plain, vernacular presentation of the text by actors who look and sound like today...Admirable as this approach may seem in the abstract, there is something stingy about it in practice. All pageantry is lost...The deep...
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September 28th, 2017
"The principal characters and speeches remain, but without the tension and texture that cohere them. The result is a lot of coming and going that rarely makes best use of its ensemble cast...What’s missing is the weight that can give romance its footing. There are moments to like here, but not en...
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September 28th, 2017
"If a production falls flat in a forest, does anyone hear it?...The question springs to mind while watching John Doyle's 'As You Like It'...Whenever things threaten to become tedious, which is often, Doyle has the actors engage in such bits of business as sweeping the playing area or kicking arou...
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October 5th, 2017
"Perhaps in part because the first song doesn’t come along until a half-hour into the proceedings, Doyle’s 'As You Like It' gets off to a slowish, oddly unspecific start...Truth to tell, I never really thought that Doyle’s underlying concept for the production registered with full clarity, nor di...
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