I love Shakespeare, and this adaptation did not disappoint. Set in present day Italy, the men wore suits and the women wore short sexy dresses and stiletto heels. But the language was pure Elizabethan.
From the opening minute of the show with best friends Antonio and Bassanio dancing, the entire cast came on and the future couplings were easily demonstrated.
Director Tiger Reel assembled an all star cast of some of the finest actors in film and television. Despite the outward appearance, the language flowed quite naturally and believably from their lips.
Kudos to Jack Young as Shylock, who truly captured the essence of the unmerciful Jewish loan shark who cared only about obtaining his pound of flesh.
Also noteworthy were Da...
A taut, well-executed production of one of Shakespeare's most controversial plays. Despite its brevity, this "Speed Merchant" manages to exhibit all of the pain and pathos of Shylock and the oft ambiguous relationship of Antonio & Bassanio (all portrayed beautifully) while still bringing out a great deal of humor. The modern touches are fun and not forced and fit the mood of the play well. It's not an easy play to reconcile, and will leave audience members conflicted and talking long after curtain, which is of course the best kind of theatre. A wonderful dose of the Bard for all, especially those who didn't make it through Branaugh's five hour Hamlet....
The talented cast gave a strong and witty performance. There were many moments where I, and the rest of the audience, was laughing out loud. Jack Young who played Shylock and Vanessa Vaughn as Portia were phenomenal. They are both gifted actors.
I drove in from Long Beach to attend the performance, and it was well worth the drive!...
Cleverly directed, updated enough without going overboard and perfectly pared down to keep it moving. Shylock really stands out as a top notch performer but honestly ALL the performances were wonderful. Not often you can say that about a show. Highly recommend! ...
certified reviewerJune 23, 2012
A great modern day take on Shakespeare. While condensed, the director expertly hits all the emotional moments and story points spot on. See it this weekend if you can before it's done! The acting is superb....
Don't miss your last opportunity to see this inventive and entertaining version of Merchant of Venice. The cast is terrific and you get everything you need in ninety minutes which fly by. Check out the game show!...
certified reviewerJune 26, 2012
Another fantastic and clever concept from director, Tiger Reel, although perhaps not up to par w/ most of his other work. Granted, "Merchant of Venice" is not necessarily Shakespeare's strongest or easiest show to put on. Overall, direction seemed strong, although the cast didn't all seem to be on the same page in terms of acting style (some people were big and presentational, while others were subtle and unemotional). In terms of performances, Jack Young (as Shylock) was probably the strongest in the cast even though it was very difficult to understand him most of the time (blame the accent). Nikki Jenkins was fantastic to watch and impressively versatile, while David Hardie and Nicholas Mongiardo were both charming and very believable. I h...
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