Theater review: THE MERCHANT OF VENICE

November 20, 2010

My review of Daniel Sullivan’s production of The Merchant of Venice has been posted on CultureVulture.net.

I didn’t manage to see the show when it was first staged in Central Park last summer, in rep with Michael Greif’s version of The Winter’s Tale, but I’m glad I caught up with it on Broadway.

Lily Rabe, Al Pacino, and Byron Jennings in "The Merchant of Venice"

“It’s a deep and upsetting rendition of one of Shakespeare’s darkest comedies….Sullivan’s subtle yet pointed staging made me unusually aware of the numerous contractual agreements in the play and how each of them comes loaded with some element of whimsy, perversity or downright cruelty. The scene where Shylock gets his day of reckoning could be considered the climax of the play, followed by some light-hearted comic business. But in this production, that tense scene launches an increasingly sickening series of humiliations, and nobody gets off the hook.”

You can read the complete review online here.

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