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  Merchant On Venice at The Greenhouse Theater Center

Merchant On Venice

The Greenhouse Theater Center
2257 N Lincoln Avenue Chicago

A tragi-comic, raucous, dark and irreverent work, Kurup's play is set on Venice Boulevard in present day Culver City, California - a section of the Los Angeles area where hatred and intolerance among Hindus and Muslims has grown to a boiling point. With rock-and-roll and Bollywood-influenced music, blank verse and present-day pop references -- replete with Indian, American and Latino jargon that reflect the sound of the South Asian Diaspora as well as the polyglot crackle of Los Angeles -- the play explores how the preponderance of power in one sector of a community can marginalize a minority, and provoke reactionary and retributive responses.

Presented by Rasaka Theatre Co. and Vitalist Theatre Co.

Thru - Apr 15, 2018

Thursdays: 7:30pm
Fridays: 7:30pm
Saturdays: 2:30pm & 7:30pm
Sundays: 2:30pm

Price: $25

Show Type: Comedy/Drama

Box Office: 773-404-7336

The Greenhouse Theater Center Seating Charts

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  Merchant On Venice Reviews
  • Highly Recommended
  • Recommended
  • Somewhat Recommended
  • Not Recommended

Chicago Reader - Highly Recommended

"...Under Liz Carlin Metzís skillful direction, the 15-member ensemble of this coproduction by the Rasaka and Vitalist theater companies delivers a show at once moving, funny, and exciting. Particularly impressive are Anish Jethmalani and Madrid St. Angelo as Sharuk and Devender and Priyank Thakkar as Sharuk's comical servant."
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Albert Williams

Windy City Times - Highly Recommended

"...Three hours may seem a protracted evening, but more than justifies itself in the sheer weight and complexity of the social issues under scrutiny. Audiences need not fear succumbing to culture shock, however. Vitalist director Liz Carlin Metz retains control of such diverse elements as Mumbai-style musical revels, comedic monologues delivered by servants and sidekicks, sweet nothings crooned by giddy lovers and iambic-pentameter oratory to ensure our full comprehension of the tragic discord arising from the elevation of petty differences over shared values."
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Mary Shen Barnidge

Theatre By Numbers - Highly Recommended

"...If youíre a Shakespeare fan, a proponent of diverse casts and creative teams, and if you think everything is improved with the addition of a Bollywood dance number, get yourself to the Greenhouse Theater Center for this production, as soon as possible."
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Sean Margaret Wagner

Around The Town Chicago - Somewhat Recommended

"...While Liz Carlin Metz did a great job of directing and keeping the action moving ( if not, this could have been three and a half hours), there were far too many movies and songs mentioned for laughs. In fact, this was a bit too "Bollywood" for me, and I love "Bollywood Films". I thought the actors were strong and were only limited by the material that was given to them by the playwright. Hats off to Sunny Anam, Simi Bal, Anand Bhatt, Luisa Blanca, David Fink, Dennis Garcia, Muriaza Kapasi, Ben Veatch, Priyank Thakkar, Alka Nayyar and Siddarth Rajan. Great work!"
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Alan Bresloff

Chicagoland Musical Theatre - Recommended

"...The second half of the show is absolutely mesmerizing. The writing is at itís best and we become fully invested in these characters and the drama unfolding in their lives. Very few plays can justify a run time of 2 hours and 45 minutes other than Shakespeare"
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Sheri and Josh Flanders

Chicago On Stage - Somewhat Recommended

"...Though Kurup is a gifted writer with a great idea-and he should be commended for taking a play that is often considered anti-semitic and adapting away what may have been view as any hint of Islamophobia-his play is, in many ways, doomed from its inception. There are just too many ingredients in the pot. The wonderful moments when the tension rises and Sharuk's conflict with Devender boils over are too few and far between to save the play, as they take a back seat to a desire for relevance and clever cultural connections diffuse the potential for real connection."
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Karen Topham

Picture This Post - Recommended

"...This play is RECOMMENDED to theater lovers of all walks of life: Shakespeare dorks, anyone interested in South Asian Culture, Bollywood, or socio-political issues. Not recommended for people who are not open to new takes on Shakespeare."
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Kinnari Vora and Bob Garrett

  Merchant On Venice Photo Gallery

   This show has been Jeff Recommended*

*The designation of "Jeff Recommended" is given to a production when at least ONE ELEMENT of the show was deemed outstanding by the Joseph Jefferson Awards Committee.

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