A Modern Merchant of Venice -- Shakespeare's Tragic Comedy on Wall Street
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The last date listed for The Merchant of Venice was Sunday August 19, 2012 / 7:00pm.
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.” —_Stage and Cinema _
“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.” -_-Stark Insider (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.” --Theatre Storm _
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._