There’s Something Wrong in Pasadena

You see, Pasadena has just elected a new mayor. This clown has turned the Rose Bowl into a racing track, and expelled the ex-mayor and his family to Mojave, t0gether with his daughter and a comic.

Sounds stupid? It is.

Last night, we saw “As U Lyk It: A Caliofrnia Conconction” at the Pasadena Playhouse. To put it succinctly: Don’t bother. This is one of the few shows that we left during intermission and didn’t come back.

The show was an adaption of “As You Like It“, one of Shakespeare’s funnier comedies. The show was “reimagined” to take place in Pasadena and Mojave, retaining the iambic pentameter, but none of the humor. There were attempts, which fell flat. To give some examples: there were loads of jokes against the administration, which fell flat in blue-hair Pasadena; the actress playing Rosalind looked and sounded better as a guy than a girl; there were jokes about swallowing or spitting (and I’m not talking water here); the characters were indistinguishable; the attempt at Iambic Pentameter served only to confuse the audience not tell the story… well, you get the idea. The play basically insulted the audience, and the author butchered the story. Take a look at the cast list below with their roles, and you can get an idea.

I need to go watch Atomic Shakespeare to see how Shakespeare can be translated right. The Complete Works of William Shakespeare (Abridged) was much much better. Oh well, at least I’ll see good Shakespeare in a few weeks at the Renaissance Faire.

We’re currently planning on writing a letter to the Playhouse, because the first two plays of this season (this and Diva) have been such disappointments. We’re 20 year subscribers, so this is not a good thing to have happening. Update 10/2006: They redeemed themselves with the remainder of the season, which has been excellent.

Production Statistics: As U Lyk It: A California Concoction. Produced by the Pasadena Playhouse in association with Cornerstone Theatre Company. Adapted from the William Shakespeare original by Alison Carey. Starring Leith Burke as Orlando (a young man); Dorothy James as Eve (his one-time babysitter); Lisa Tharps as Olivia (Orlando’s sister); Kate Mulligan as Charles (a race car driver), Bilbo (a staff member to the Mayor), Amy (an aide to the ex-mayor), Olive Martext (an internet wedding officiant), and William (a park ranger); Christopher Liam Moore as Rosalind, the daughter of the ex-Mayor; Jonathan del Arco as Touchstone (a comic); Ivar Brogger as Frederick (the mayor) and Senior (the ex-mayor); Scott Rodarte as Givan (a councilman loyal to the ex-Mayor); Dorothy James as Corinna (a cactus nursery worker); Christian Barillas as Sylvius (a cook); Gregory Cruz as Snakebite (a biker); Peter Howard as Jaques (a former TV producer and friend of the ex-mayor); Benajah Cobb as Aubrey (a mechanic); and Monette Magrath as Phebe (a waitress). Directed by Bill Rauch.

[Posted to cahwyguy and socal_theatre]