Our final day was a day of comedy, starting with As You Like It, though it played a little darker than usual. The Depression era costumes and folk-blues songs helped to enhance the sense of hardship in the forest of Arden, even while the usurped Duke reminds his followers of the blessings in their situation. As usual, the company worked both the text and the situation – even without a clue from the text – for laughs.
Breaking our vow to eat at all new places, we had dinner at the Standing Stone Brewery for dinner. Outside, there was a jazz band playing, the same band as last year this time. They were very good, but left too soon.
As we like to do, we closed with a farce, Tom Stoppard’s On The Razzle, a confection, dedicated to the expression of every kind of joke, verbal and physical, available to the playwright. It was very funny, if not particularly lofty. A surprise for us, Emily Knapp, who appeared in several Harlequin productions a year ago, or so, played the Shop Assistant and the French Maid. This is the third young person we’ve seen in Ashland, whom we’ve also seen before in Harlequin productions.