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THE MERCHANT OF VENICE OFF-BROADWAY NEW YORK TIMES REVIEW
Opening Night: February 27, 2011
Did He Like It?*
After sold out runs in New York and at the Royal Shakespeare Company's Complete Works Festival, Theatre for a New Audience's 2007 celebrated production of The Merchant of Venice starring Academy Award Winner (Amadeus) F. Murray Abraham returns to New York before embarking on a national tour. A mysteriously melancholy rich man, a dashing young lover in desperate need of cash, a moneylender with good reason to seek revenge and a witty young woman with a knack for disguise are the elements of Shakespeare's sparkling and troubling tragicomedy. Set in the city of Venice, where all nations meet and the clash of cultures can lead to startling violence, this play has been arousing controversies, social as well as literary, for centuries. It has an astonishing mixture of elements: comedy both raucous and gentle, steely-eyed satire, intense compassion, tender poetry, and the perpetual struggle between mercy and justice. Directed by Darko Tresnjak, the production deftly integrates sleek, modern touches and creates a money-driven world "where wealth can never resolve inbuilt religious and racial tensions." - Michael Billington, The Guardian.
If you’ve scanned the headlines recently, you have no doubt been freshly reminded that the toxin of anti-Semitism has hardly been eradicated from contemporary culture. In the last couple of weeks it has surfaced spectacularly in the worlds of show busin
*By CHARLES ISHERWOOD
Published: March 4, 2011
"If you’ve scanned the headlines recently, you have no doubt been freshly reminded that the toxin of anti-Semitism has hardly been eradicated from contemporary culture. In the last couple of weeks it has surfaced spectacularly in the worlds of show business and fashion, blighting, if not ending, two major careers."
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