Those who think Rush wrote the line All the worlds a stage wont know, or care, that Southwest Shakespeare Company has taken certain liberties with the Bards great comedy As You Like It, SSCs season opener. On the other hand, those who believe its heresy to tinker with Shakespeare well, to thee we say, we desire we may be better strangers.
Of the myriad things that make Shakespeares works great, their near-supernatural malleability stands supreme. Its hard to imagine a Sam Shepard play recast as a Broadway musical or performed by an all-dog cast, but nothing much surprises with Shakespeare.
SSCs reimagining of As You Like It is not nearly so extreme, though perhaps a wee bit darker than ol Will envisioned. We think of the pastoral comedy of the play, but we forget that it begins very much like a thriller, says director Richard Baird. By finding the dark side of As You Like It, I think we will be able to contrast it beautifully with its uproarious comedy.