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  The Merchant Of Venice at Pride Arts Center - The Buena

The Merchant Of Venice

Pride Arts Center - The Buena
4147 N. Broadway Chicago

Shakespeare's story of the lender Shylock who proposes collateral of a pound of flesh against a loan will be set in 1938 Italy, when racial laws disenfranchised and discriminated against Italian Jews during the rise of European Fascism. The concept promises to shed new light on a classic story of revenge, justice, and mercy.

Presented by Invictus Theatre

Thru - Nov 17, 2019

Price: $25

Show Type: Drama

  The Merchant Of Venice Reviews
  • Highly Recommended
  • Recommended
  • Somewhat Recommended
  • Not Recommended

Chicago Reader - Somewhat Recommended

"...There are some smart performances here (including Martin Diaz-Valdes as a blissfully broish Bassanio). I'm just not convinced we have much left to learn from this particular play about how anti-Semitism functions. But Invictus at least provides us with a timely reminder that it's never really gone out of fashion."
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Kerry Reid

Stage and Cinema - Recommended

"...This show can never be nice: Along with The Taming of the Shrew, a comedy built squarely on misogyny, The Merchant of Venice, a tragicomedy festering with anti-Semitism, remains the Bard’s most problematic play. But Shakespeare wrote it. Felt from all sides, there’s humanity to spare. Truth overcomes prejudice as an unparalleled observer distills the essential emotions behind every conflict."
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Lawrence Bommer - Recommended

"...In this Merchant of Venice, the language of Shakespeare is handled effectively, with Chuck Monro as Antonio, Martin Diaz-Valdes as Bassanio and Madeline Pell as Nerissa delivering compelling performances. Monro also brings a depth of emotion to his part."
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Bill Esler

Third Coast Review - Recommended

"...Director Askenaizer has a strong cast and Badger and Pell are particularly appealing as Portia and Nerissa. Among the production crew, Satoe Schechner deserves special mention for the beautiful costumes designed for Portia and Nerissa. The men’s suits, tuxedos and uniforms are also well designed. Scenic design and props are by Kevin Rolfs, with lighting by Michael NJ Wright and sound design by Stefanie M. Senior."
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Nancy Bishop

Chicago Theater and Arts - Recommended

"...In some ways this production is like a very high level "reading." There isn't a lot of room for theatricality and there is precious little in terms of scenery. The costumes by Satoe Schechner do the bulk of the work dressing the stage."
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Reno Lovison

Chicago On Stage - Recommended

"...So how to react to such a production in a way that would do justice to its myriad strengths and all of the superb elements that have created it? On the one hand, I can readily exclaim that this is one of the finest productions of The Merchant of Venice that I can even imagine. Every aspect has been meticulously thought through and presented in order to highlight the beauty of Shakespeare’s language and the complications of this particular story. If I had a whole Christmas tree full of green lights, I could justifiably award them to Invictus. But how do I ignore the wrenching emotional dissonance that the added layer of the setting imposes on this show? Six million souls cry out in agony every time Shylock is onstage. And the laws at the time would not have cared that his daughter Jessica had chosen to convert to Christianity upon marrying Lorenzo: she’d have been hauled off to the camps as readily as her father."
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Karen Topham

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