THEATER: Something to Sing About

A very traditional British cast finds rapture in As You Like It

So often these days, theater is a laborious imitation of things that are easily done better elsewhere. Directors try for the intimacy of a movie close- up or the narrative voice of fiction or the pachydermal pizzazz of theme- park extravaganzas, and you think, Why did they bother? But when theater works on its own primal terms -- with a bare stage, a few actors in simple dress and a brilliant conception that breathes life into an old property -- it's the freshest, liveliest art around.

The production of Shakespeare's As You Like It by the British Cheek by Jowl troupe,...

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