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Review Roundup: Shakespeare's AS YOU LIKE IT At the Delacorte Theatre

AS YOU LIKE IT returns to The Delacorte after its original Public Works production in 2017 and a two-year pandemic delay for a five-week run.

Review Roundup: Shakespeare's AS YOU LIKE IT At the Delacorte Theatre

The Public Theater presents its Free Shakespeare in the Park production of Public Works' AS YOU LIKE IT, running through Sunday, September 11 at The Delacorte Theatre. The production opens tonight and the reviews are rolling in. See what the critics had to say below!

Adapted by Public Theater Artist-in-Residence Shaina Taub and Director of Public Works Laurie Woolery, with music and lyrics by Shaina Taub, original choreography by Tony Award winner Sonya Tayeh, choreography restaging and additional choreography by Billy Griffin, and direction by Woolery, AS YOU LIKE IT returns to The Delacorte after its original Public Works production in 2017 and a two-year pandemic delay for a five-week run to celebrate Public Works' 10th Anniversary.

Public Works' acclaimed musical production of AS YOU LIKE IT returns to Central Park, bringing together its diverse ensemble of both professional actors and community members from across New York. Adapted by Shaina Taub and Director of Public Works Laurie Woolery, featuring music and lyrics by Taub, this ambitious work of participatory theater has been hailed as "thrilling & terrifically vital" by The New York Times. Forced from their homes, Orlando, Duke Senior, his daughter Rosalind, and niece Celia are banished to the Forest of Arden. There, they discover a community of acceptance and transformational love, where all are welcomed and embraced. Laurie Woolery directs this magical adaptation of a beloved classic.


Alexis Soloski, The New York Times: You won't have to squint hard at "As You Like It," the shimmering Shakespeare adaptation at the Delacorte Theater, courtesy of Public Works. Adapted by Laurie Woolery, who directs, and the singer-songwriter Shaina Taub, who provides the music and lyrics, this easeful, intentional show bestows the pleasures typical of a Shakespeare comedy - adventure, disguise, multiple marriages, pentameter for days. And, in just 90 minutes, it unites its dozens of actors and its hundreds of audience members as citizens of the same joyful community.

Joe Dziemianowicz, New York Theatre Guide: Call it reforestation at its best and most theatrical: The restorative grove has rooted again on the same Public Theater stage as part of Free Shakespeare in the Park. Back for a return run five years after its first and with a number of principal roles intact, this cheeky and big-hearted musical adaptation by Shaina Taub, who wrote the songs, and Laurie Woolery, who directs, offers a breezy summer diversion.

Thom Geier, The Wrap: For the most part, it all works - though there are quite a few rough patches along the way. Taub does not seem tempted to explore the transgender inclinations of the the show's heroine, Rosalind (Rebecca Naomi Jones, a strong singer who showed some vocal strain at the performance I saw), who butches herself up as Ganymede as she slyly pursues her crush, Orlando (Ato Blankson-Wood, a wide-eyed standout with a crystalline voice).

Frank Rizzo, Variety: Get thee to Arden - or at least to the Arden depicted in the glorious, delightful and big-hearted musical adaptation of Shakespeare's "As You Like It," created as part of The Public Theater's Public Works program and now playing at the Delacorte Theater in Central Park. (The run ends Sept. 11, but here's hoping it will find future life.)

Melissa Rose Bernardo, New York Stage Review: If you saw one of the handful of performances of the Shaina Taub-scored, Laurie Woolery-directed As You Like It at the Delacorte Theater in 2017, you won't be surprised to learn that the acclaimed Shakespeare in the Park production is making a return engagement. If you didn't catch the initial run, be merry (to quote one of Taub's songs); you now have a couple more weeks to make your way to Central Park for this exuberant musical celebration.

Elysa Gardner, The New York Sun: If Shaina Taub's adjustments can suggest a certain self-consciousness on the surface, they inform a genuine and exuberant inclusiveness that transcends virtue signaling.

Jonathan Mandell, New York Theater: When I saw Taub's adaptation of "Twelfth Night" for Public Works in 2016, I called it a variety show and a fun party. But Public Works has matured since the time when their run was just for the long Labor Day weekend. These crowd-pleasers are now given full runs as the second offering in the Delacorte summer season. The cast members may still be having a party, but "As You Like It" is a seamless 90 minutes that offers many of the pleasures of the best professional theater.


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The 61st season of Free Shakespeare in the Park at The Delacorte Theater in Central Park will feature the classic drama HAMLET, directed by Tony Award winner Kenny Leon and featuring Tony Award nominee Ato Blankson-Wood (Slave Play, Public Works’ As You Like It) in the title role.

VIDEO: First Look at AS YOU LIKE IT at Free Shakespeare in the Park Photo
Public Works’ musical production of AS YOU LIKE IT has returned to Central Park, bringing together its diverse ensemble of both professional actors and community members from across New York. Get a first look at footage from the production here!

Photos: On the Opening Night Red Carpet for AS YOU LIKE IT Photo
The Public Theater presents its Free Shakespeare in the Park production of Public Works' AS YOU LIKE IT, running through Sunday, September 11 at The Delacorte Theatre. The production opened just last night and BroadwayWorld was on hand for the big event. Check out photos from the red carpet arrivals.

Photos: First Look at AS YOU LIKE IT at Free Shakespeare in the Park Photo
AS YOU LIKE IT was adapted by Public Theater Artist-in-Residence Shaina Taub and Director of Public Works Laurie Woolery, with music and lyrics by Shaina Taub. The production began performances on Wednesday, August 10 and will run through Sunday, September 11, with an official press opening on Tuesday, August 30. See photos here!


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