Thursday, July 9, 2009 | 3:24 p.m.
CEDAR CITY, Utah — Director David Darlow came to the Utah Shakespearean Festival for the first time this summer and chose the romantic comedy, "As You Like It."
One of Shakespeare's later comedies, it explores many aspects of love and provided a contrast to "The Comedy of Errors," which opened the 48th Utah Shakespearean Festival.
Typical of Shakespeare's plays, the plot twists and turns with a woman, Rosalind, played by Melinda Parrett, who was Kate in "Taming of the Shrew" last season, who disguises herself as a man to hide in the forest.
Her true love, Orlando, portrayed by Quinn Mattfeld, also making his debut at the Utah festival, is completely smitten and fooled by Rosalind until the very end.
David Ivers, a festival veteran, shone as he delivered the famous speech, "All the world's a stage," rendering the seven stages of a man's life with a fresh and powerful approach.
Rick Ford as Touchstone, a fool, and John Bisom as Le Beau, a courtier attending Duke Frederick, Phil Hubbard, who has usurped Duke Senior's throne (Roderick Peoples).
The entire cast delivers a masterful, energetic and witty performance of this play from opening to the final curtain (the flourishes by each character are priceless).
All is not a laugh riot, however, as the opening scene as Orlando and Charles (Erik Mathew), a wrestler to Duke Frederick, mix it up at the beginning of the play.
If anyone is new to Shakespeare, this production will leave a pleasant taste and memory of the Bard.
For ticket information, go to the Web at www.bard.org, or call 1-800-PLAYTIX.