Weekend Art Planner: “As You Like It”, Bill Frisell

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

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

The production is directed by Laurie Woolery, who directs the Public Works Public Theater program, and while there is a cast of professionals, the show also involves community members from across the city. “As You Like It” opens Wednesday, August 10; free tickets are given out for every performance, and you can read how to get them here. August 10 – September 11; publictheater.org

A long, long time ago, Bill Frisell was mainly associated with the mutated kinds of new jazz that were 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 great composer and improviser whose work always surprises and delights.

He has also been featured in a select roster of artists routinely entrusted with two-week residencies at New York City’s most sacred and historic jazz club, the Village Vanguard. There he follows in the footsteps of iconic players such as 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 the gig well.

In a way, Frisell .’s newest residence is three for weeks: he’s actually with the Vanguard this weekend, playing as a sideman with the great drummer Andrew Cyrille. On Tuesday nights, Frisell’s name comes to the top of the tent – he’ll be playing intimate shows for a week with saxophonist Greg Tardy and drummer Johnathan Blake, two sets a night, Tuesday through Sunday at 8pm and 10pm

And then Frisell is back for a second week, starting Tuesday, August 16, with a quintet made up of two bassists – Thomas Morgan and Tony Scherr – and two drummers – Kenny Wollesen and Rudy Royston. (It’s actually funny math: if Frisell puts his two most recent working trios together, three plus three equals five.) Whatever you think this is going to be, it most likely will be something else. Again two sets every night at 20.00 and 22.00 August 9 – 14 and 16 – 21; villagevanguard.com

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