Monday, August 25, 2008


As U2 Like It
The Troubadour Theater Co
directed by Matt Walker
Falcon Theater
through October 12,
in repertory with
Alice in One Hit Wonderland
What do the Bard and Troubie have in common? The Bard wrote a play as an entertainment for the masses. In today's day and age, there is no better American theatrical company of actors to perform Shakespeare's work than The Troubies, whose dual purpose is to entertain and yet entertain some more. Shakespearean actors are allowed to be broad, for it's all in the words; Troubie style is over the top, big time, and bawdy to boot - and so, a perfect match. As U2 Like It, currently in rep at the Falcon with Alice, is one of their finest. All the ingredients come together for a magical evening: great acting, great singing, pretty set and costumes; you name it, this production could not be better.
Stealing much of the show is Rick Batalla as Oliver. Proclaiming himself a totally different guy in three disguises, Batalla is drop-dead hilarious in all of them. Gaining attention from the audience as well is handsome prince-charming and well worth ogling over Matt Merchant as Orlando. Delightful in the comic relief roles are Audrey Siegel as Phebe and Matthew Morgan as her less than desirable suitor Silvius. Katie Nunez is a knockout as Celia. What a voice! In a smaller role as Jacques, Beth Kennedy (see my interview with her on the interview page) is just magnificent. Her big speech "All the world's a stage", in which she interprets the 7 stages of man, is alone worth the price of admission to this show. As melancholy Jacques, Kennedy never cracks a smile. Her white-face harlequin look is intact until the very end. It's an eloquent and stellar turn! Walker, whose direction is impeccable as always, stands back in the lesser role of Touchstone with his masterful panache and comic flair.
Costumes by Sharon McGunigle are elegant; the set by Sherry Santillano is a perfect fit for both plays, and the band...just the best: Eric Heinly, Thomas Dryaton, Mitchell Sigman and Pocket Honore.
No need to go to Stratford for an honorable replication of Shakespeare; it's right here at the Falcon. They sneer that U2's songs all sound the same; that may be true, but they certainly work well in tandem with the Midsummer Night's Dream-like plot of As You Like It. Shakespeare would delight in such boldness!
5 out of 5 stars


Blogger buenaventura said...

You are so right. This show is perfect in every aspect!
So many comedic geniuses in the cast including Matt Walker and Rick Batalla.
Every actor in hollywood needs to see this show. For not only the comedy but for the great performances of classic theater namely Beth Kennedy.

August 27, 2008 at 10:43 AM  

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