The Public Theater presents a free outdoor musicalization of Shakespeare's comedy, a dreamlike tale of faithful friends, feuding families, and lovers in disguise. More…
Forced from their homes, Orlando, Duke Senior, his daughter Rosalind, and his niece Celia escape to the Forest of Arden, a fantastical place of transformation where all are welcomed and embraced. Lost amidst the trees, the refugees find community and acceptance under the stars. Part of the Public Theater's Public Works series, which brings professional artists and community members together to create ambitious works of participatory theater.
"Rollicking, poignant and flat-out delightful...At about 100 minutes, it is a brief and generous respite from floods and nukes and violent demonstrations...What makes 'As You Like It' so thrilling is that when the cast is all assembled, it looks like New York City — busy, diverse, terrifically vital...For the optimistic, they are reminders that theater, like democracy, is a collaborative form and that when all those disparate voices come together, the effect can be extraordinary." Full Review
“The story leaps off the stage with sizzling choreography by Sonya Tayeh, the tenderest of vocal arrangements by Shaina Taub and playful direction by Laurie Woolery…It’s wonderful to see the way the Public’s productions in Central Park bring the ideal of the public park into the show…It is an incredible ensemble of diverse and intriguing faces that is gathered for this production emphasizing this community feeling…You can take your kids to this show and they have a good time.” Full Review
"An inspiring rendition...The play briefly covers the romance that ensues between Rosalind and Orlando. Had there been more scenes showing the growing affection for one another, the characters’ chemistry might have appeared stronger. The songs and lyrics were standouts in this work...This adaptation succeeded in bringing Shakespeare’s play about conflict, drama, hope, and life’s inevitable adversities, to life on stage." Full Review
"A thrilling array of our city’s vibrant population is singing, dancing, speechifying, and wrestling up on the stage...What Public Works participants lack in polish and training, they make up for in sheer, unadulterated joy...The presence of such a large and radiant ensemble has a democratizing effect in more ways than one...It can’t be easy to stage so many bodies. Most of the time Woolery made it work, making those instances where the staging doesn’t flow seamlessly stand out all the more." Full Review
"I found this ‘As You Like It’ to be solid entertainment, thanks largely to its spectacular pageantry. In part because of its scale, it isn’t the most subtly rendered version of the story you’re ever likely to see. Its humor runs to the broad (and sometimes self-referential), rather than to the thoughtful and understated. Still, the rapt audience clearly found it winning.” Full Review
See it if you want to see a clever, updated, fun Shakespearean musical production with a very talented cast from the community!
Don't see it if you only like traditional Shakespearean productions.
See it if Enchanting musical take on a Shakespearean gender switching, love and lots of weddings - wonderful fun but not for purists
Don't see it if You need your Shakespeare straight and sober
See it if you love NYC. This is community/professional theater at its best in the greatest theater space in the City. Spend the time in the line.
Don't see it if "you hate lines", are a purist about Shakespeare, hate Central Park, can't sit for 140 minutes without intermission. Your loss!
See it if unfortunately it's closed as I'm writing this, but this joyous show is a must see for alt-Shakespeare
Don't see it if you don't like Shakespeare's comedies where everything works out in the end
See it if enjoy a joyful musical Shakespeare interpretation that has a cast of 100's. Great spectacle complete with appropriate prose
Don't see it if you prefer a strict interpretation of the Bard's work
See it if The best yet of the Delacorte Labor Day "pageants." Shaina Taub wrote a great score and plays an amusing Jaques. The other leads are good
Don't see it if Eye-popping staging with well choreographed troupes of dancers, acrobats and children. Animal puppets were great. The giant lion was awesome
See it if Public Works productions in the Park are an annual delight. Mixed professional and amateur performers, all having a great time. Celebratory
Don't see it if You like your theater indoors, humorless and "respectful" of the the Classics.
See it if you want to see a bunch of New Yorkers having so much fun with an updated version of As You Like It that you're guaranteed to have fun, too.
Don't see it if you can't stand anything but the most serious and literal takes on Shakespeare, or if you have no sense of joy.
See it if you 're looking for a fun, accessible Shakespeare adaptation with a wonderful positive energy (plus a choir, puppets, and debka dancers!).
Don't see it if you want to get to know this play as Shakespeare wrote it. You believe that the theater is only for an elite or those in the know.
See it if you want to witness and be indulged in an all-inclusive show that pours passion, love, and the power of community right into your heart.
Don't see it if you have your strong opinions about how Shakespeare's shows should be.
See it if you want to see all of New York come together to make an approachable version of Shakespeare's great work.
Don't see it if Random Russian folklore groups dancing in the middle of your Shakespeare would confuse you.
See it if you enjoy updated Shakespeare, outdoor theater, big productions. Charming and sweet if hard to follow the plot. But who cares in the end.
Don't see it if you are a Shakespeare purist. If paring down the story to the point of it not making sense bothers you. A bit chaotic.
See it if you want to support the wonderful Public Works projects. A fun-filled evening that makes Shakespeare accessable to all. Truly worthwhile.
Don't see it if you are a Shakespeare purist.
See it if you respond to a joyful, tuneful show. Altho some scenes are unpolished, the evening flies by in a happy glow. Funny, sweet, inspiring.
Don't see it if you want traditional Shakesp. Most important ideas/characters are here, but not many of his lines. Who cares when this AYLI is so much fun!?
See it if you want outrageous fun and don't mind Shakespeare being tossed and turned. Very updated with multi ethnic cast, rock groups...a musical.
Don't see it if If you want pure Shakespeare. This ain't even close.Kinda typical of what Oscar E. does now.
See it if you like the mission of the Public Works program. It's not a shiny polished gem, but it's not trying to be and that's part of the magic.
Don't see it if you aren't interested in a show that has valued community engagement over elite production values.
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