A Modern Merchant of Venice -- Shakespeare's Tragic Comedy on Wall Street
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All offers for The Merchant of Venice have expired.
The last date listed for The Merchant of Venice was Sunday August 19, 2012 / 7:00pm.
Currently at Gough Street Playhouse:
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With the book Lean In making a splash in 2013, the topic of women and success is just as fresh and current as it was in the 1980s, when Caryl Churchill wrote Top Girls in response to Margaret Thatcher's ambitious rise to power in the UK. Called "the best British play ever from a woman dramatist" by The Guardian, Top Girls follows Marlene, a ruthlessly ambitious career woman, who has seized every opportunity to make it to the top. In the play's famous opening scene, she celebrates her big promotion at a surreal dinner party whose guests are famous women from history and myth. After this celebratory moment, Top Girls changes course to show the cost of Marlene's ambitions. When a young relative shows up unannounced at her workplace, Marlene must examine what the next generations of women will gain (or lose) from the choices she made in her rush to the top. Learn More
Reviews & Ratings
Featured review from June
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Sorry, but wearing business suits, talking on cell phones, using a Mac, snorting cocaine, and women wearing too-tight modern clothes don't make this about current events and Wall St. Other than those props, it was a conventional production of "Merchant of Venice", which is usually considered too politically incorrect to stage these days. My friend (ever looking for the positive spin) pointed out that it's Shakespeare, and a product of his times. Which would be valid, if you weren't also claiming you've updated it and made it about current events.
Beyond that, the production was sort of ok, so I was on the fence about giving it 3 stars for "It was ok", but it was so far from what I was hoping for that I couldn't really justify 3 stars.
It also put me to sleep for some segments, and the theatre was definitely too warm.
Quotes & Highlights
- "The spectacle is so perfectly realized that it seems the play was written for modern times." --<em>Stage and Cinema </em>
- "While strutting their cells phones, investments and irony, the cast seemed so at home in this language that they brought the text to a whole new level." -<em>-Stark Insider </em>(4 of 5 stars)
- "This is a memorable Merchant of Venice, original, exciting, and highly recommended ... As a gay man and a Jew, I was very moved by this production." -<em>-Theatre Storm </em>
It’s a new take, but the quality of mercy is not strained in the Custom Made Theater production of William Shakespeare’s The Merchant of Venice.
Custom Made's production, directed by Stuart Bousel, who directed last season’s BATCC nominated M. Butterfly, will relocate the classically controversial play to modern times, where fortune-seeking Bassanio (Dash Hillman) will pursue the love of genius heiress Portia (Megan Briggs) in an atmosphere reminiscent of Wall Street and peopled by rogue traders and arrogant millionaires.
The way to the lady is barred by an edict created by her controlling father that she will lose her fortune if her potential husbands don't undergo and succeed at a game of chance. Bassanio enlists the financial aid of successful trader Antonio (Ryan Hayes) but he enters his own gamble when he agrees to a backroom deal with Shylock (Catz Forsman), a socially ostracized banker whose daughter Jessica (Kim Saunders) is planning a secret elopement with her young lover, the feckless Lorenzo (Brian Martin).
A stylistic cross between Mad Men and American Psycho, Bousel's production explores how money, greed, recognition and power corrupt souls and tear lives apart in an era when sacrificing lives and livelihoods is the cost of doing business.
About the Ticket Supplier: Custom Made Theatre Co.Winner of the SF Bay Critic Circle award for Best Overall Play of 2012, The Custom Made Theatre Co. is a San Francisco-based not-for-profit theatre dedicated to ensemble-based, socially relevant productions. Custom Made is the managing company of the Gough Street Playhouse, an intimate thrust theatre without a bad seat in the house, where they present a five play season, along with numerous readings, workshops and classes. Most recently, Custom Made produced the Goldstar ROAR award-winning "Eurydice"
and the Bay Area Premiere of Christopher Durang's "Why Torture is Wrong, and the People Who Love Them."