Bard on the Bandstand is back this year, with one of the William Shakespeare’s most hilarious romantic comedies.
Emerald Pig Society is putting on As You Like It – but set in a 1920’s Speakeasy as well as the Forest of Arden.
“It’s good to be back with Bard this year,” exclaimed Simon Challenger, president of the Emerald Pig Society.
Bard on the Bandstand performances continue tonight & tomorrow in šxʷhék̓ ʷnəs (Spirit Square). Bring the family, a lawn chair/blanket, & a donation for the Food Bank. Pre-show 6:30pm, show 7pm. In the event of rain, the show will be cancelled. Visit https://t.co/UGddMe9TJn. pic.twitter.com/Z1UtAOQkcU— City of Pitt Meadows (@citypittmeadows) July 15, 2022
He noted that even though the society managed to put on a small review show last September, it was nice to be back with a full-scale production this year – the same production they were intending to put on in 2020, before the COVID-19 pandemic hit.
And, he said, amazingly some of their originally cast actors were able to stay with the show this year.
The story follows the plight of Orlando, the youngest son of just deceased Sir Roland de Boys, who is treated harshly by his older brother. And also Rosalind, the daughter of Duke Senior, who was recently deposed by his brother Duke Frederick, as head of court.
Rosalind and Orlando fall in love.
However, shortly after, Rosalind is banished by the new Duke and seeks shelter in the Forest of Arden. She disguises herself as a young man named Ganymede.
Orlando is also forced to flee to the forest after he learns of his brother’s deadly plot against him.
Ganymede discovers writings by Orlando addressed to Rosalind in the forest and when the pair up meets up again, Ganymede proposes to Orlando that he will cure him of his love for Rosalind by having Orlando woo Ganymede himself, as if he were Rosalind – even though Ganymede really is Rosalind.
“I have to say my favourite scenes are the interactions between Rosalind/Ganymede and Orlando. They are so much fun,” said Challenger, director of the production.
“She is going to cure him of love, that’s what she is going to do, and he readily ends up going along with it because he/she convinces him that he needs to be cured,” laughed Challenger.
The production will include live music throughout performed by Peter Tam and his quartet.
“And, of course, what would a show with music from the 20’s be without 1920’s dancing, including the Charleston,” noted Challenger.
Long time Emerald Pig actor Tyler Boe will be taking on the role of Orlando. Boe first started with Emerald Pig in 2013 as Edmund in their production of the C.S. Lewis classic, The Lion, The Witch, and The Wardrobe. Juliet Logan is playing the role of Ganymede, Megan Kimoto as Touchstone, Eric Scribner as Corin, and Scott Thomas Anderson as Oliver.
For the most part, said Challenger, the society has been able to pick up where they left off before the pandemic. The City of Maple Ridge went out of their way to make sure they were able to get rehearsal space and the City of Pitt Meadows made sure Spirit Square was available to them.
Local businesses have also been supportive, he said, donating gifts for their raffle basket.
Tickets will be sold this Canada Day at the Emerald Pig Society tent in Memorial Peace Park, at the Haney Farmers Market, and at all the shows.
The draw will take place the final night on the bandstand in Maple Ridge.
The society will also be collecting non-perishable food items and cash to donate to the Friends In Need Food Bank.
There will be pop, chips, and candy bars available for purchase, however, Challenger said, people are welcome to bring their own picnic.
Limited seating will be available at each performance, but people can bring their own chairs and blankets as well.
Pre-show featuring Peter Tam and his band will start at 6:30 p.m. and at 7 p.m. the show will start.
The Emerald Pig Society’s production of As You Like It by William Shakespeare runs July 14-16 in Pitt Meadows Spirit Square and July 21-23 on the bandstand in Memorial Peace Park in Maple Ridge.
Admission is free.
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