Staging Marvelous In HFCC’s ‘As You Like It’

Richard Marsh/Dearborn Press and Guide/December 1988

At Henry Ford Community College last weekend, the Performing Arts Department presented a modified “As You Like It,” set in the 1960s, but with the original dialogue. The purpose of changing the setting was to show the timelessness of Shakespeare’s works. 

Clever staging and rapid scene changes make this show a joy to watch. Director George Popovich used dynamic scenic elements in bold and innovative stylings to move the action and language along at a decent clip.

The inclusion of live, modern, reggae music is a nice touch and helps demonstrate the timelessness of Shakespeare’s work. The folk-rock band used for this is polished and professional.

One example of the clever technical setup were the entrances and exits of famed wrestler Charles (played by Steven Nicolich) early in the play. Other highlights include the well-thought-out and well-executed fight scene between Charles and Orlando (Daniel Taylor), and the planning and working of the music.

“As You Like It” is a comedy love story which includes elements of youth rebellion and cravings for power, both still applicable today. The acting was of high quality. Taylor did a good job as the rebellious Orlando, as did Nanette Hammoud and Heather Ann Capote as the banished cousins, Rosalind and Celia. Randal Kuzdak gave a wonderful portrayal as the fool Touchstone.

This production helped make the bard’s work more accessible to young audiences and people who might even hate Shakespeare. Bravo!

Cast

  • Orlando: Daniel Taylor
  • Adam: Matt McPherson
  • Oliver: Gregory Mitchell
  • Ladies to Duke Frederik: Andrea White, Jennifer Gentry, Jennifer Parlette, Jeanette Pryciak, Elaine Puruleski, Kelly Rodenberg
  • Charles: Steve Nicolich
  • Rosalind: Nanette Hammoud
  • Touchstone: Randal Kuzdak
  • Celia: Heather Ann Capote
  • Le Beau: Bill Korsak
  • A Servant: Steve Bielawski
  • Duke Frederik: Victor Bidini
  • Duke Senior: John Ecclestone II
  • Silvious: Steve Nicolich
  • Jaques: Mark Powell
  • Oliver Martext: Matt McPhereson
  • Phebe: Julie Ward
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