But, my offspring's Shakespearean insubordination aside, I was quite impressed with the quality of the performance last night. It was presented "in the round", with minimum props. However, the sparsity of the props, I thought, helped us to focus more on the actors and the flow of Shakespeare's iambic pentameter rather than boom boxes, Cabbage Patch dolls and Rubik's Cubes.
The play was themed 80s! No joke. It was tubular. I mean, it was like the story arc of all 5 seasons of Saved by the Bell plus the made for TV movie Saved by the Bell: Wedding in Las Vegas. For cereal. Now, before you literary zeeks are all, "What's your damage, Martha? I mean, like, gag me with a spoon, they are totally not the same, let's bounce." Take a chill pill. I think it works.
First, let's introduce the characters of As You Like It and their Bayside High doppelgangers:
beautiful, a leader, quick witted, the intellectual heroine of our story
|aka Jesse Spano|
sweet, devoted, the moral heroine of our story
|aka Kelly Kapowski|
a kind fair-minded ruler who is easily tricked out of his power
|aka Mr. Belding|
spiteful and petty, would steal power at any chance he gets, and he does
|aka Mr. Tuttle|
strong, handsome, but also brave and chivalrous
|aka AC Slater|
the jester, witty but is always underestimated by his friends
|aka Samuel "Screech" Powers|
rich, petty, jealous, let's face it, kind of a jerk, who somehow gets everyone to like him in the end
|aka Zack Morris|
Homefry, I kid you not, these characters totally fit right into the plot of As You Like It too. It's legit, man.
As You Like It
Saved by the Bell
And that's when things start to get all mental. Because, like, everyone is eventually hangin' at the forest/the Max doing all sort of mondo weird stuff like pinning notes on trees and dancing to Endless Love by Diana Ross and Lionel Richie. (I know, gag me with a spoon.) I mean, you have Rosalind/Jesse, disguised as a boy, roaming the forest with sweet, devoted, good natured Celia/Kelly and their goofy, and always underestimated sidekick, Touchstone/Screech Powers. There's Orlando/Slater wandering the forest trying to avoid the fall out from Oliver/Zack's evil get rich scheme, and there are a bunch of other people in the forest with their own side stories-who we'll just call Maxwell Nerdstrom, Violet Ann Bickerstaff, Louise and Ox.
In the end, after much high jinx, Duke Senior/Mr. Belding is re-instated as Principal. Rosalind/Jesse and Orlando/Slater are going steady. Touchstone/Screech doesn't end up with anyone, but, let's be honest, he never was going to. And, of course, Oliver/Zack shows up at the end and is all, "Psych! I'm a good guy now! No more of those crazy mental get rich schemes for me anymore. I'm totally gnarly now guys. Can we be friends?" And, do you know what everyone says? They say, "Dude! You are so forgiven. We all think you're the bombdigity now!" And then, Oliver/Zack and Celia/Kelly get married. Because, of course Zack gets the girl in the end.
It was, by far, the best rendition of a Shakespeare play I have, literally, ever seen in my life. For cereal.
But, there is a downside to all this mega bulk-o-rama-ness. A short run. Two shows, and it's gone. No more to be seen, appreciated, danced along to (note play list below). And, perhaps one could argue that it's exclusivity lent to it's awesomeness, but, I would disagree. Those kids earned each and every one of their five star review.
|Especially this kid.|
But, for you, dear reader, who sadly missed out on Katie's 5th grade class's first and last five star worthy performance, I leave you with their soundtrack. So, pull your Complete Works of Shakespeare off your shelf, and pump up the jam. It's almost like being there.
Wake Me Up Before You Go-Go by WHAM
Girls Just Wanna Have Fun by Cyndi Lauper
Endless Love by Diana Ross and Lionel Richie
Don't You Forget About Me by Simple Minds
Should I Stay or Should I Go? by The Clash
Eye of the Tiger by Survivor
Walk This Way by RUN DMC
Whip It by DEVO
True Colors by Cyndi Lauper
JUMP by Van Halen