Weekend arts planner: “As You Like It,” Bill Frisell

Shakespeare in the Park is mounting its second production of the season, a musical adaptation of the delicious comedy “As You Like It” with music and lyrics by Shaina Taub. If that name rings a bell, it could be because her newest musical, “Suffs,” ran not so long ago at the Public Theater. Or maybe you’ve heard that she provided lyrics for the new musical adaptation of “The Devil Wears Prada” by Sir Elton John.

The show received a limited staging in 2017. Its return was announced for 2020… and everyone knows what happened next.

The production is directed by Laurie Woolery, who runs the Public Theater program Public Works, and although it does feature a cast of professionals, the show also involves community members from all over the city. “As You Like It” opens on Wednesday, August 10th; free tickets are distributed before every performance, and you can find out how to get them here. Aug. 10th – Sept. 11th; publictheater.org

A long, long time ago, Bill Frisell used to be associated primarily with the mutant strains of new jazz bubbling up in downtown clubs like the Knitting Factory, Roulette and Tonic. But over the years, his approach has broadened, and so has his appeal. Frisell is a brilliant interpreter of standards and songs, a terrific composer, and an improviser whose work never fails to surprise and delight.

He’s also entered a select lineage of artists routinely entrusted with two-week residencies at New York City’s most hallowed and historic jazz club, the Village Vanguard. There, he’s following in the footsteps of iconic players like the pianists Cedar Walton and Tommy Flanagan and the drummer Paul Motian. Frisell played in Motian’s band for decades, so he knows the club and gig well.

In a way, Frisell’s latest residency is three weeks long: He’s actually at the Vanguard this weekend, playing as a sideman with the great drummer Andrew Cyrille. Coming up on Tuesday night, Frisell’s name moves to the top of the marquee – he’ll play a week of intimate shows with saxophonist Greg Tardy and drummer Johnathan Blake, two sets a night, Tuesday through Sunday at 8 and 10 pm.

And then Frisell’s back for a second week starting on Tuesday, August 16th, leading a quintet that includes two bassists – Thomas Morgan and Tony Scherr – and two drummers – Kenny Wollesen and Rudy Royston. (It’s basically funny math: When Frisell links up his two most recent working trios, three plus three equals five.) Whatever you think this is going to be, most likely it’s going to be something else. Again, two sets each night at 8 and 10 pm Aug. 9th – 14th and 16th – 21st; villagevanguard.com

Back to top button
MONTAGNEDISTRIBUTION