Chicago Shakespeare Artists and Audiences
“Come Together” for the opening of
As You Like It
The hit songs of The Beatles mix with Shakespeare’s poetry
now playing through November 21, 2021
Chicago—October 15, 2021—Chicago Shakespeare Theater welcomes the return of audiences to the Theater’s home on Navy Pier with the long-awaited debut of As You Like It infused with the hit songs of The Beatles, now playing through November 21. Set in the ‘60s when all you need is love, this high-spirited, music-filled adaptation lifts Shakespeare’s romantic comedy in beautiful harmony with the immortal music of the "Fab Four." Adapted and directed by Daryl Cloran, As You Like It features more than 20 musical numbers from The Beatles' songbook performed live onstage—including favorites like “She Loves You,” “Let It Be,” and “Here Comes the Sun”—in an exuberant celebration of love and connection.
“We’re overcome with joy to be producing live theater again and sharing powerful artistic experiences with our audiences back where they belong at Chicago Shakespeare,” shared Artistic Director Barbara Gaines. “There’s never been a more important moment for all of us to come together—to gather with one another, to share music and laughter—and to bring back the magic we’ve missed over these many months apart.”
Director and adapter Daryl Cloran is artistic director of the Citadel Theatre in Edmonton, one of Canada’s largest regional theaters, where he has built an international reputation for the company, including hosting pre-Broadway productions of Hadestown and SIX. For the Citadel, Cloran has recently directed Matilda, Shakespeare in Love, and A Christmas Carol. Cloran has directed extensively at theaters across Canada and abroad, including at the Shaw Festival, National Arts Centre, Theatre Calgary, and Bard on the Beach, as well as in South Africa and Bosnia-Herzegovina.
The As You Like It company features Melanie Brezill (Celia, through November 14), Ayanna Bria Bakari (Celia, beginning November 16), Adam Wesley Brown (Forest Lord/Hymen/Danny “The Boy” O’Leary), Tony Carter (Oliver), Michael Daniel Dashefsky (Silvius/Forest Lord/Assassin), Austin Eckert (Charles/Amiens), Lachrisa Grandberry (Audrey/Mother Russia), Kevin Gudahl (Duke Frederick/Duke Senior), Deborah Hay (Jaques/LeBeau), Heidi Kettenring (Phoebe/Eleanor Rigby), Kayvon Khoshkam (Touchstone), Kieran McCabe (Forest Lord/William/Jacques de Boys), Steven Pringle (Adam/Martext), Liam Quealy (Orlando), Lakeisha Renee (Rosalind), Kurt Schweitz (Forest Lord/Assassin), Nancy Voigts (Corin/Duke Frederick’s Assistant). Understudies include Bridget Adams-King, David Corlew, Jodi Gage, Conor Jordan, Jeff Kurysz, and Jeff Parker.
This adaptation of As You Like It is conceived by Daryl Cloran and the Bard on the Beach Shakespeare Festival. Joining Cloran on the creative team is Choreographer and Fight Choreographer Jonathan Hawley Purvis, and Music Supervisor Ben Elliot. Bringing the free-spirited Forest of Arden to life onstage are Scenic Designer Pam Johnson, Costume Designer Carmen Alatorre, Lighting Designer Gerald King, Sound Designers Owen Hutchinson and Peter McBoyle, and Wig and Make-up Designer Richard Jarvie. Rounding out the creative team are Verse Coach Larry Yando, Assistant Director Clare Brennan, Assistant Music Supervisor Michael Daniel Dashefsky, Music Consultant Michael Mahler, Intimacy Choreographer Sarah Scanlon, Creative Consultant Rick Boynton, and Casting Director Bob Mason. Dawn Fenton is the Production Stage Manager, with Assistant Stage Managers Katrina Herrmann (through October 14) and Kate Ocker (beginning November 2).
Musical numbers from The Beatles songbook featured in the production include (in show order):
- “Money (That’s What I Want)”
- “We Can Work It Out”
- “She Loves You”
- “I Want to Hold Your Hand”
- “I Saw Her Standing There”
- “While My Guitar Gently Weeps”
- “I Am the Walrus”
- “The Fool on the Hill”
- “Let It Be”
- “Do You Want to Know a Secret”
- “Eight Days a Week”
- "And I Love Her"
- “When I’m Sixty-Four”
- “You’ve Got to Hide Your Love Away”
- “Love Me Do”
- “Can’t Buy Me Love”
- “Got to Get You into My Life”
- “Helter Skelter”
- “Good Day Sunshine”
- “Here Comes the Sun”
- “Across the Universe”
- “All You Need Is Love”
Chicago Shakespeare strives to make its facility and performances accessible to all patrons through its Access Shakespeare programs. Accessible performances for As You Like It include:
- Open-captioned Performances – Wednesday, November 10, 2021, at 1:00 p.m. and 7:30 p.m.
A text display of the words and sounds heard during a play, synced live with the action onstage.
- ASL Duo-interpreted Performance – Friday, November 19, 2021, at 7:30 p.m.
All dialogue and lyrics are translated into American Sign Language by two certified interpreters.
- Audio-described Performance – Sunday, November 21, 2021, at 2:00 p.m
A program that enables patrons who are blind or have low vision to more fully experience live performances by providing spoken narration of a play’s key visual elements.
More information on the production at www.chicagoshakes.com/asyoulikeit or on social media at #cstAsYouLikeIt.
As You Like It is now playing through November 21, 2021 in Chicago Shakespeare’s Courtyard Theater. Run time is 2 hours, 40 minutes including an intermission. Single tickets ($49–$90) are on sale now. Special discounts will be available for groups of 10 or more. For more information or to purchase tickets, contact Chicago Shakespeare Theater’s Box Office at 312.595.5600 or visit the Theater’s website at www.chicagoshakes.com.
ABOUT CHICAGO SHAKESPEARE THEATER
A Regional Tony Award recipient, Chicago Shakespeare Theater produces a year-round season—featuring plays, musicals, world premieres, family productions, and theatrical presentations from around the globe—alongside nationally recognized education programming, each year serving tens of thousands of students, teachers, and lifelong learners. Founded in 1986, the Theater’s onstage work has expanded to as many as twenty productions and 650 performances annually. Dedicated to welcoming the next generation of theatergoers, one in four audience members is under the age of eighteen. As a nonprofit organization, Chicago Shakespeare works to embrace diversity, prioritize radical inclusion, provide equitable opportunities, and offer an accessible experience for all. On the Theater’s three stages at its home on Navy Pier, in classrooms and neighborhoods across the city, and in venues around the world, Chicago Shakespeare is a multifaceted cultural hub—inviting audiences, artists, and community members to share powerful stories that connect and inspire us. www.chicagoshakes.com