How far would you go for your first love?
ALL THE WORLD’S A MALL
in this totally awesome mix of Shakespeare and John Hughes.
It's 1985 and the brand new Arden Mall is hosting a high school dance. Bookworm babe Rosalind wants to go with varsity wrestler Orlando, but she's never had the guts to talk to him. Rosalind disguises herself as a frat dude named Corey and learns Orlando's true feelings for her. But things get tricky when "Corey" complicates the lives of three other couples at Arden. Rosalind will do anything to get Orlando, even if it means showing up at the dance as both herself and Corey.
Filled with memorable tunes, a hip sense of humor, pure joy and a huge heart, it all works out LIKE YOU LIKE IT if you take the biggest risk of all: being yourself.
Read full synopsis.
A NOTE FROM THE AUTHORS
Like You Like It, on the surface, is Shakespeare's As You Like It set at a mall in the 1980s. At is heart, though, it's about the risks everyone takes for their first love. We believe audiences across the board, whether they grew up in the '80s or not, will relate the leaps of faith the characters take and the transformations they make: ...
A NOTE FROM THE COMPOSER
The music of Like You Like It is a theatrical 1980s pop/rock score and should be approached with an '80s mindset. Most of the time, the music is meant to sound not like a specific '80s song, but rather an amalgamation of several '80s pop songs at once. My attempt was to create a score that would tap at the back of the listener's psyche making him/her wonder if they had heard this song before or not. In other words, I was trying to write music that sounded familiar and brand-new simultaneously — not to mention dramatically serving the scene on stage ... Read more.
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1985. There's a huge high school dance at the brand new Arden Mall. Straight-A senior Rosalind wants to go with varsity wrestler Orlando, but she is too shy to face him. Worse, snotty Audrey has been dating Orlando for a whole month.
Rosalind's best friend Celia spies on and discovers that Audrey and Orlando are on the outs and encourages Rosalind to make a move. When Rosalind does finally bump into Orlando, they are unjustly suspended from school thanks to Audrey's machinations and the treachery of Oliver, Orlando's jealous older brother and the 19-year old truancy officer of the school.
With Rosalind's hopes dashed and nowhere to go, she and Celia decide to flee to the Arden Mall. Audrey, whose father owns the mall, threatens the girls that if they are discovered at Arden, they will be arrested. So Rosalind and Celia decide to go in disguise: Rosalind as a frat dude named "Corey" and Celia as a Madonna wannabe dubbed "Ladonna" by their ride: Touchtone, a horny junior with the hots for Celia.
Orlando, who sees in Rosalind a chance for him to break free of his stereotype as a jock, also escapes to the mall and posts poems on the wall dedicated to Rosalind. She finds the poems. "Corey" then befriends Orlando and learns his true feelings for Rosalind. He admits he's been too shy to talk to Rosalind, so "Corey" hatches yet another plan: "Corey" will act like Rosalind for Orlando.
Meanwhile, Celia succumbs to Touchtone's advances, with disastrous results. She later finds herself face to face with, but not recognized by, Oliver. "Ladonna" gives him a much-needed makeover. He falls in love with "Ladonna," and Celia finds herself falling, too. But she's afraid of telling him who she really is.
"Corey" causes some problems. First, there's Sylvie and Phil, best friends who work at Sausage on a Stick. Sylvie wants to be more than friends with Phil but he discovers something about himself when he meets "Corey." Then Audrey arrives at the mall to nab Orlando, only to fall in love with "Corey" and later meet Touchtone, who finds himself having feelings for Audrey...
All comes to a climax at the big dance, where Rosalind must show up as both herself AND "Corey," changing everyone's fates, including her own.
Ultimately, everyone learns that it all works out "Like You Like It" if you take the greatest risk of all: being yourself.
A NOTE FROM THE AUTHOR
Like You Like It
, on the surface, is Shakespeare's As You Like It
set at a mall in the 1980s. At is heart, though, it's about the risks everyone takes for their first love. We believe audiences across the board, whether they grew up in the ‘80s or not, will relate to the leaps of faith the characters take and the transformations they make:
- Shy Rosalind comes out of her shell while popular jock Orlando lets someone know his sensitive side.
- Celia and Touchtone learn to look beyond outward, shallow appearances.
- Sylvie outright tells Phil how she feels about him; he reveals his big secret. Their honesty with each other takes their friendship to a new level.
- Even Audrey and Oliver, the show's antagonists, find a deeper, more open part of themselves.
The style of the show should be earnest and real. With the exception of the opening number, no one comments “oh, this is the ‘80s.” It's a show that happens to take place in that era, not ABOUT that era. The show's humor should come from real emotion and, hopefully, grounded in a universal story that relates to all audiences.
The set can be as simple or as complex as you would like. While we of course have always dreamed of hydraulic escalators coming out of the deck like Pride Rock, the show has worked very well in a black box. The show is crafted similar to a movie, so shifts in lighting and a multi-level set help the fast pace and multiple storylines and locations.
The script calls for a large cast, but all of the students outside of the principals can be consolidated into 2 or 4 utility players. Casts ranging from high school to Broadway professionals have found the show to be a challenge to learn but a joy to play, and one they could do over and over again.
You may want to screen Sixteen Candles
for your cast, as well as The Breakfast Club
, Ferris Bueller's Day Off
, Pretty In Pink
, Fast Times at Ridgemont High
and the Sarah Jessica Parker-starring TV show Square Pegs
. The characters and situations have been modeled on both Shakespeare and the John Hughes & other '80s teen movies:
- Rosalind is the straight-A student whose shyness is a lot like Samantha's (Molly Ringwald) in Sixteen Candles. She has Shakespeare's Rosalind in her when she blossoms at the mall into a cunning, keen manipulator who grapples with her conscience and her discovery of how deeply she is falling in love.
- Celia is similar to the tough best friend Randi in Sixteen Candles, mixed with the bravado of Phoebe Cates's Linda in Fast Times at Ridgemont High: all talk about her experience with boys, but phenomenally insecure underneath it. She is also the loving cousin/sister/friend that Shakespeare's Celia is to Rosalind.
- Orlando is Shakespeare's strong hero with a huge nod to iconic, cool Jake Ryan from Sixteen Candles. The kid you cast as him would ideally be a real jock who discovers he likes to sing and act - kinda like a real-life Troy/Zac Efron from High School Musical.
- Audrey is the Mean Girl, the insensitive girlfriend from Sixteen Candles. Though she is named Audrey, she shares some similar, nasty traits with As You Like It's Phebe.
- Touchtone is the Geek from Sixteen Candles mixed with the wise but salacious fool from Shakespeare. He has also been portrayed as Ducky from Pretty In Pink.
- Phil and Sylvie are the gender-reversed Sylvius & Phebe from As You Like It. They are also junior versions of Will & Grace. Sylvie, it should be noted, is the only character at the outset of the show who is transparent about her love for someone else (in this case, Phil). She is the only one who takes a risk without playing a game.
- Oliver is Shakespeare's jealous brother turned softie by the magic of the mall and his love for “LaDonna.” His jealousy comes from his anger at his parents' death and is at heart noble for trying to take care of Orlando. He also is the subject of a staple of teen movies: the makeover montage.
- Jackie is our tribute to women rockers like Cyndi Lauper/Joan Jett/Pat Benatar, as well as shades of Annie Potts's character in Pretty in Pink.
The show has an educational component in its tie-ins with As You Like It
. In addition to the character parallels listed above, some common elements and themes are:
- The characters yearn for the freedom of the Arden Forest (mall) versus the confines of the Court (Courtland High School).
- The enchantment of the Arden Forest: Is the Arden Mall enchanted or are the characters expressing their inner desires for real?
- Celia as Aliena in As You Like It feels out of place in the forest. Celia in Like You Like It, though a typical mallrat, finds herself surprisingly out of place as well, as if the mall is turning against her.
- Orlando's poems on the trees of the Arden forest have become trees on the potted plants at the mall.
- Jackie West's cynicism is akin to Jacques, always on the outside of all the happy couplings.
- Rosalind plays a game of dressing as a boy who acts like a girl to get closer to the guy she likes.
Thank you again for taking an interest in Like You Like It
. We firmly believe your cast and you will have a wonderful time at Courtland High School and the Arden Mall.
A NOTE FROM THE COMPOSER
The music of Like You Like It
is a theatrical 1980s pop/rock score and should be approached with an ‘80s mindset. Most of the time, the music is meant to sound not like a specific ‘80s song, but rather an amalgamation of several ‘80s pop songs at once. My attempt was to create a score that would tap at the back of the listener’s psyche making him/her wonder if they had heard this song before or not. In other words, I was trying to write music that sounded familiar and brand-new simultaneously — not to mention dramatically serving the scene on stage.
I could include a list of songs that were an inspiration to this score; but most of the time, each number of Like You Like It
was inspired by a few or more. Most notably is the opening number; there are several moments that pay homage to several artists of that era. Even the song “Complicated” gets its inspiration from “Hit Me with Your Best Shot” and Gilbert & Sullivan’s “Modern Major General.”
The orchestration has a fairly normal pop/rock configuration: keyboard 1/conductor, keyboard 2, two guitars*, electric bass (with round-wound strings), and drums. But if for some reason you are unable to use the full orchestration, at the very least please use the drums with the piano. It helps drive this energetic musical.
In an ideal performance, the drum set would be an electronic/synth drum set, such as the Roland V-Drums, so that it can recreate all the electronic/synth drums sounds as well as acoustic sounds used throughout the 1980s. Also, the synth patches and guitar effects should sound of that era. As we perpetually speed away from that decade, these patches may not be heard in one’s inner ear as readily as they once did. The obvious action to take is to listen to a wide variety of ‘80s pop and rock music. The canon has a wider variety of styles and sounds than one may expect. Some suggestions of artists to listen to are: Van Halen, Alphaville, Toni Basil, Peter Cetera (and Chicago), Peter Gabriel, Phil Collins, El Debarge, Cyndi Lauper, Depeche Mode, The Go-Gos, Pat Benatar, Def Leppard, Rush, Whitney Houston, Debbie Gibson, The Waitresses, Bow Wow Wow, A-ha, The Tubes, Yes, The Clash, The Cure, among many others.
Also, the bass part sometimes has a synth-bass indicated. My original intent was to have the bass player double on synth at those moments for a more authentic ‘80s synth-bass sound. The music director may choose to have another keyboardist play it or have the electric bass play the part if necessary.
In the song “Be with Me,” the character Orlando could play the guitar, but the part is indicated in the guitar book so Orlando can simply pantomime.
The guitar/bass parts usually have both written figures and chords. If your production happens to employ the talents of a guitarist or bassist who cannot read notated music but can read chords, the band should be able to play a fairly good representation of the score.
There is a debate regarding the approach to the vocal technique used in this show. Since it is a musical, one can argue that proper vocal technique and intonation would be the best approach. However, since we want this to sound as ‘80s as possible without ruining the integrity of the performance, approaching the score with some of the more colorful vocals may be a better idea. Listen to the singing on these above-listed recordings. Not everything is beautiful; not everything is in tune. Often there are pop grace notes, scoops, and drop-offs. (Every decade has its own specific vocal stylings. For example, the ‘80s didn't use long melismatic improvisation like it does today on American Idol.) As with the instruments, I highly recommend your singers to listen to the vocals of the ‘80s. Each artist has a unique sound. I think having a little bit of that, as well as a rocker’s attitude, will help keep the sound of Like You Like It
fresh. That being said, I think it would be best to sing properly in large choral sections.
A note on Rosalind’s vocals: Although she sometimes sings high, it will be more satisfying if she has some bottom to her voice. This will also help if when she is playing “Corey.”
Ultimately, this is a pop/rock score. There is room for the free spirit of improvisation — within the limits of the score — both with the band and with the singers. If the bass player feels the need to add a few filler notes, try it out; see if it works. I say that you think of it as if it were a rock concert: fun, free, and full of energy.
*Currently, due to performance restrictions, the orchestration has only one guitar. To really capture that time period’s sound, I want to add one more guitar. To really make it authentic, I would like to add some tenor and soprano sax to some of the songs as the sax was could be heard in a number of songs in the ‘80s. Until the day arrives where we can add a second guitar and sax, the five-piece band will have to suffice.