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Friday, December 14 , 2018, 9:35 am | Fair 54º


Dos Pueblos Theatre Co. Is Sure You’ll Like ‘Like You Like It’

The production, opening Nov. 11, is based on Shakespeare's 'As You Like It,' only it's set in a mall in the 1980s

This fall, the Dos Pueblos Theatre Company will bring back everything you loved about the ‘80s in their production of the West Coast premiere of the musical Like You Like It (presented by the Bragg Health Institute).

With catchy tunes by Dan Acquisto and clever book and lyrics by Sammy Buck, the show is set to run at 7 p.m. Nov. 11, 12, 17, 18 and 19 with matinees at 2 p.m. on Nov. 12 and 19. Tickets are $8 for students/seniors and $12 for adults, available at the door, or click here to order online.

The show, based on William Shakespeare’s As You Like It, only set in a mall in the 1980s, will be presented in the newly renamed Elings Performing Arts Center at Dos Pueblos High School.

The show follows the story of Rosalind Duke (senior Nanda Douglas and sophomore Talya Steinberg), a “straight-A babe” and Orlando Bateman (senior Ray Cothern), the jock everybody wants. Replacing Shakespeare’s “enchanted forest” with an “enchanted mall,” a group of students sets off to attend the grand opening of the mall but leave finding unexpected love and their true selves.

The characters are based on classic high school stereotypes (cheerleaders, jocks, nerds), but who develop depth in the show, discovering that they all “have to be themselves.” It comes across with the classic Shakespearean theme that “the more things change, the more they stay the same,” but with a contemporary twist: “It all goes on like you like it!”

“It’s very unexpected and goofy,” junior Cole Petersen said of the plot. “And by the end just about everyone winds up with someone new.”

Between rocking musical numbers based on the sounds of the ‘80s, pop culture and Shakespearean references, and endlessly confused identities, the show never skips a beat. Branded as “innovative” by The Examiner and “remarkable” by The Brooklyn Paper, this show offers plenty of laughs for fans of musicals, classic ‘80s movies, Shakespeare and so much more.

This show was developed several years ago by Broadway Beginnings, a school-run program in which students participated in the writing of an entirely new, professional show. The Like You Like It writers are readying the show for publication and licensing, and director Clark Sayre, musical director John Douglas and choreographer Gioia Marchese have been working closely with writers Buck and Acquisto on revisions. As the final test pilot, DP’s cast receives updates on the songs and script from the writers, creating an experience comparable to the professional theater world.

Sophomore Colleen Murphy describes it as “a testing experience” that is “ultimately very fun.”

Between cast and crew, more than 60 students are involved in the production. The entire cast has been working hard acting, singing and dancing during the rehearsal period, overseen by Sayre, Marchese and Douglas. Several cast members, including junior Xeni Tziouvaras, who plays Rosalind’s best friend Celia, feel that “everyone in the cast has something unique to offer, and every role portrays each person’s respective talents,” a testament to the great theatrical talent at Dos Pueblos.

At the same time, the crew creates the central “enchanted mall” with lights, sound and colorful sets. Camille Rohrlich and Molly Jacobs, seniors and stage crew managers, agree that, ”The set has come to life with the great assistance of designers and hard work of students.” Crew member Lauren Ferrell said “the multi-talented crew is working hard to create a fun and creative set.” The student-led crew is assisted by set designer Rafael Perea, costume designer Miller James, set painter Kai Tepper and technical director John Faass.

Click here for more information on the Dos Pueblos Theatre Company, or click here to follow it on Facebook for updates on events.

It all goes on Like You Like It!

— Gioia Marchese is the producer of Like You Like It for the Dos Pueblos Theatre Company.

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