Reviews

Exchange the Bad for the Better

The Two Gentlemen of Verona has unjustly been dismissed by most scholars.  Harold Bloom, for instance, calls it “the weakest of all Shakespeare’s comedies.”  But if it doesn’t have the meat of later plays like The Merchant of Venice or All’s Well That Ends Well, it does offer humbler pleasures.  Fiasco, a company that previously mounted amiable if underwhelming productions […]

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Reviews

Unarming Troilus

I am not a Shakespearean purist.  There is nothing inherently wrong with, say, relocating The Merchant of Venice to present-day Las Vegas, with handing Macbeth a machine gun, or with reading The Tempest and deciding it should look like this.  But the ideas should always be generated by the text instead of imposed onto them.  The problem […]

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Reviews

Not Enough Meat, Not Enough Plucking

Director Ross Williams has an nice, inventive touch, and his production of Titus Andronicus is filled with small but effective flourishes.  There is, for example, the large, lit-up target that brandishes the back of the stage, which offers some effective foreshadowing when the newly-minted emperor Saturninus (Vince Gatton) stands in front of it and raises his arms in […]

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News

Everything You Need to Know About Shakespeare in the Park 2014

“Like one swallow,” wrote John Simon when reviewing the premiere of The Mystery of Edwin Drood, “one Shakespeare does not make a summer.”  Fortunately, for the first time since 2011, Shakespeare in the Park is eschewing musicals for two revivals from the Bard.  This year, they are presenting Much Ado About Nothing (June 3 – July 6) and King Lear (July 22 – […]

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Reviews

A Gentile Shylock

Shylock is a Jew.  A bad Jew, perhaps, but a Jew nonetheless.  This is something that is known by virtually every theatergoer on the planet except, apparently, Ike Schambelan, whose new production of The Merchant of Venice presents us with a decidedly assimilated moneylender.  Never mind that this leads to some awkward textual inconsistencies—Shylock complains […]

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