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As You Like It

January 5

March 6, 2011

in CST's Courtyard Theater

by William Shakespeare
directed by Gary Griffin

Critical Acclaim


“     Shakespeare done 'As You Like It'! There is no more appealing Shakespearean heroine than Rosalind and there is no better Rosalind than Kate Fry, who invariably encapsulates on stage the kind of rich emotional core that this delicately toned bit of Shakespeare especially needs. This production crafts a clear, kind, unpretentious, accessible and honest spot in the world. By the end of the night, one is strikingly sorry to see them disappear from the trees into the wings.”

“Delicious! To be sure, it is well worth a visit to experience the grand and giddy tutorial in true love administered to the madly amorous young Orlando (Matt Schwader), the wondrous Kate Fry (Rosalind), and ever-fetching Chaon Cross, who plays Celia.”


“This is Shakespeare at his most irresistible, presented by an ensemble of performers who ascend to a world class level. Even viewers totally familiar with the play, and especially those a little tired of it, will be won over by CST's superbly staged, wonderfully acted production. Matt Schwader's Orlando has the grit and presence to match Kate Fry's winsome Rosalind. For once the two characters are portrayed as equals—equally silly, equally attractive, equally entertaining, and equally in love. ”


“I have seen the definitive Rosalind in Kate Fry. She carries the entire play with her, gets wonderful support, and the music is exceptionally charming.

It's directed by the master veteran director Gary Griffin, and the brilliance of his concept is to have no concept. There's no high imposing of an attitude or a view, he lets the play speak for itself and it's delightful. I recommend very strongly As You Like It at Chicago Shakespeare.”


“A funny feast for the senses! Staged by CST's Associate Artistic Director Gary Griffin, Chicago Shakespeare Theater's production guarantees an instant audience love affair. The acting company delivers the lines so brilliantly, everyone, whether a theater snob or novice, can lovingly follow every move and moment. I guarantee, this awe-inspiring theater space and dazzling period costuming will leave you breathless.”


“Gary Griffin's staging of Shakespeare's pastoral comedy, set in an early-19th-century England straight out of Jane Austen, delivers screwball whimsy and poetic lyricism in equal measure. The first-rate cast in this lively, beautifully designed production possess the vocal technique necessary to negotiate the Bard's dense wordplay, but also imbue their verse with spontaneity, honesty and moving new insights. Superb.”


     The perfect play—romantic, earthy, impetuous and exploitive. Gary Griffin's perfectly tuned staging assembled an ensemble as true to their tale as their wonderful writer could wish. These are masterful portrayals drawn from life as much as literature. The most regretful part of the play is when this company must return to the workaday world. But that's just how the audience feels leaving the Theatre.”


“Perfect! Every detail grants this production nothing less than a remarkable rating. These extraordinary actors will make you burst with laughter and even cry. This is true Shakespeare theatre—the way Shakespeare's plays are supposed to be done.”


“Pure magic on stage! How fortunate Chicago theater audiences are to have a world class theater company such as Chicago Shakespeare Theater. You are in for a production that will become a lasting memory and will have you hungry for more. Under the skilled direction of Gary Griffin (a master of detail and understanding) we get the best. He has assembled a cast of some of Chicago's finest to bring this production alive. Perfection!”


“One of the finest comedies mounted at Chicago Shakespeare Theater! The pace is swift, the laughs abound. Featuring one of Shakespeare's best loved heroines, Rosalind (Kate Fry in a charmingly winning performance), Gary Griffin's As You Like It is a wonderful audience adventure into romantic comedy. It is also a fine way to introduce The Bard to youngsters.”


“Chicago Shakespeare Theater provides a rich, marvelously acted production. Even audience members unfamiliar with the text will understand the author's humor and brilliance. Kate Fry is simply amazing as Rosalind. Teenage girls will easily identify with the intimacy and steadfast loyalty of the friendship between her and her cousin Celia. Hip, and very cool!”


“Amazing! Everything from the lighting to the fight choreography lets you know that you're in professional hands. The entire cast was fantastic. Ross Lehman in the role of Jaques, stole the scene every time he set foot on stage. Chicago Shakespeare Theater is one of the few parts of Navy Pier I'd never been to, and walking through the space made me feel like I'd discovered something wonderful about my home town I'd never known before.”


“Chicago Shakespeare Theater's extremely winning production is chock-full of true-blue Chicago talent. Kate Fry and Chaon Cross illuminate the stage. Fry anchors this production with her incredibly intelligent and radiant Rosiland. In a standout performance, Ross Lehman plays Jaques, transforming a cynical role into a scene-chewing riot. I've fallen in love. ”

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