As You Like it
In the beginning, and throughout much of the play, the players seemed unable to do other than declaim. The initial pace was painfully slow; each actor seemed to hesitate before speaking, as if wanting to make sure the preceding lines were really finished. Oliver (Maxin Mazumdar), Orlando (William Lyman), Charles (Leon Martell) and others in the early scenes could not seem to react to one another. Although overall Jeanne de Baer as Rosalind and Anastasia Lyman as Celia were good, they too often lacked the spark of spontaneity… Added to the problem of pace was that of Arden. “This life is most jolly,” sings Amiens (II. Vii. 183), but the green world of the play was not very jolly. William Allard as Corin delivered his lines stiffly; Michael Levine (Silvius), Len Ershow (Sir Oliver Martext), and Susan Freeman (Phebe) were somewhat better, but even a creditable performance by Randy Kim as Touchstone failed to bring Arden really alive. Arden is supposedly a place where “Sweet are the uses of adversity,” but Rob Evan Collins as the Duke uttered the line in a dreary monotone, and he played a melancholy Duke throughout… All of the main characters had enough good moments, however, to keep the play from being a failure; rather, it was uneven. (William C. Haponski, Shakespeare Quarterly 23 : 417–19)
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