by Bruce Chadwick
As You Like It Shakespeare Theatre of New Jersey 36 Madison Ave, Madison, NJ Drew UniversityAll is not well in the city where William Shakespeare’s As You Like It begins. The play, written in 1599, now running at the Shakespeare Theatre of New Jersey, charts the problems of urban life as cities grow, often without much order, in contrast to the increasingly inviting green retreats of the rural countryside. Within this conflict is the romance between Orlando, a frustrated younger brother in a powerful family, and the lovely Rosalind, a Duke’s daughter.Separately, the pair flees the city and seeks out the solitude of the Forest of Arden, with its thick clusters of trees, meandering streams and cast of characters. Rosalind disguises herself as a man so that she can keep an eye on Orlando, who is smitten with her as a girl. They are one of several pairs of lovers in the forest. The play is simple and relies on its director and actors to make it interesting. They do. As You Like It is impressive.