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  The Merchant Of Venice at Chicago Shakespeare Theater

The Merchant Of Venice

Chicago Shakespeare Theater
800 East Grand Avenue Chicago

The critically acclaimed Shakespeare's Globe production that took London by storm comes to Chicago. In some of his most highly charged scenes, Shakespeare dramatizes the competing claims of tolerance and intolerance, religious law and civil society, justice and mercy; while in the character of Shylock he created one of the most memorable outsiders in all theater. Double Olivier and Tony Award-winner Jonathan Pryce plays Shylock, and is joined on stage by his daughter, Phoebe Pryce. The Telegraph praises "Director Jonathan Munby's oak-solid, finely weighted production... the lighter and darker elements combine in a seamless whole."

Thru - Aug 14, 2016

Box Office: 312-595-5600

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

Chicago Tribune - Highly Recommended

"...Shylock, and his play, have remained enigmatic paradoxes, a raw carbuncle for centuries, widely detested but perversely popular. Take, for example, the practice of star actors touring Shakespeare, once common in Chicago but now mostly moribund. And yet here's the traveling Pryce in the role - and the show has sold out its run on Navy Pier - just as, in 2011, there was F. Murray Abraham doing Shylock in the Loop. These days, more stars tour as Shylock than Hamlet. (Maybe it's an age thing; youngsters tend to hate the dusty road.) And yet, just last week, my own newspaper published an editorial, penned by a Washington attorney, arguing, in essence, that "The Merchant of Venice" should never be performed again, on the grounds that it is incurably anti-Semitic."
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Chris Jones

Chicago Sun Times - Recommended

"...Questions about the true identity of that playwright we know as William Shakespeare are ever-present but invariably take on the quality of pseudo-conspiracy theories. Yet watching a production of "The Merchant of Venice" from Shakespeare's Globe in London, now at the Chicago Shakespeare Theater in a brief, sold-out engagement, one of the quirkier recent theories to emerge began to take on a certain intriguing quality."
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Hedy Weiss

Daily Herald - Highly Recommended

"...This "Merchant of Venice" tour electrically stars two-time Tony Award-winner Jonathan Pryce ("Miss Saigon," "Comedians") as the exacting Jewish moneylender Shylock. Without question, it's a pinnacle of the city's yearlong Shakespeare 400 Chicago celebration. There's also a family tie since Pryce's daughter, Phoebe Pryce, stars as Shylock's rebellious daughter Jessica."
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Scott C. Morgan

Windy City Times - Highly Recommended

"...This is Shakespeare at its vigorous, involving and clear-rendered best. So much is pitch-perfect: the comedy scenes of Lancelot Gobbo ( Stefan Adegbola deftly leading audience participation ), the romantic passages of Jessica and Christian hubby Lorenzo ( Andy Apollo ), the cliquish male bonding and-above all-the unreasoned injustices against perceived outsiders, so very apt for this country today. Even Antonio-middle-aged, unwed and possibly gay-is an outsider in a heteronormative society that virtually requires marriage for Portia ( a lithe Rachel Pickup ) and Bassanio ( an engaging Dan Fredenburgh ), both past their youthful blush."
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Jonathan Abarbanel

Stage and Cinema - Highly Recommended

"...A decade ago a Chicago critic notoriously concluded his review of The Merchant of Venice by offering a rather perverse take on Shakespeare's supposedly anti-Semitic play. In a case of devil's advocacy he argued that Shylock's punishment (for trying to cancel a debt by killing the bondsman Antonio)-losing half his wealth and abandoning his Jewish religion to become a baptized Christian-actually did the moneylender a favor. Shylock was now inducted into the very club that had previously persecuted him. If you can't beat them, join them."
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Lawrence Bommer

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