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Shylock

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NEWS
February 27, 2002 | By Douglas J. Keating INQUIRER THEATER CRITIC
For all that Shylock has to say in The Merchant of Venice, there is a silent moment in the show at People's Light & Theatre Company that fixes, more than his words, the fresh, convincing approach this production takes toward the problematic main character. Director James J. Christy achieves it by introducing Tubal, Shylock's Jewish merchant friend whose presence is not indicated in the script, into the trial scene. Tubal sits and quietly watches as Shylock rejects all pleas for mercy and reason, and continues to demand his pound of flesh from Antonio.
ENTERTAINMENT
June 2, 1998 | By Julia M. Klein, INQUIRER STAFF WRITER
There's a moment in Act IV, near the dramatic peak of The Merchant of Venice, when Shylock starts sharpening the blade of his knife on his shoe. Even on the unlevel playing field of a Venetian courtroom, he thinks he's won, and he's preparing to exact his more-than-proverbial pound of flesh. During Friday's opening-night performance by the Philadelphia Shakespeare Festival at the Adrienne, some audience members responded to this gesture with giggles. Perhaps these were nervous, tension-relieving titters.
ENTERTAINMENT
February 2, 2001 | By Steven Rea, INQUIRER MOVIE CRITIC
He's only in five scenes, but the figure of Shylock - the shifty usurer of The Merchant of Venice who demands a pound of flesh for payment of a loan - has had an impact on theater, and history, that resonates to this day. "Shakespeare touched something which burns a hole in the rest of the play," notes one of the talking heads in Shylock, a fascinating study of the role and its significance: as an archetype, a stereotype, and a symbol, good and bad,...
NEWS
December 20, 1989 | By William B. Collins, Inquirer Theater Critic
Dustin Hoffman has brought his Shylock to Broadway, completing one of the nerviest parlays in theater history. Without any Shakespearean experience, the American film actor braved London opinion in the role last season and got respectful attention. Now it's New York's turn. If Hoffman is less than electrifying as Shakespeare's vengeful Jew, he isn't boring either. His is a small Shylock but a credible one. The Merchant of Venice that opened a limited run last night at the 46th Street Theater is a replay, with some cast changes, of the West End production that Sir Peter Hall staged for his new producing company.
ENTERTAINMENT
December 20, 1989 | By Nels Nelson, Daily News Theater Critic
The winds of change blow strong on W. 46th Street. The 46th Street Theatre is housing its final production. In 12 weeks, immediately after the current tenant is out, it will officially become the Richard Rodgers Theatre. This final production features a prominent actor - an American Jew at that - who recently invaded the home turf of William Shakespeare and risked his professional neck to play his first Shakespearean role in that alien territory, and who has returned unbowed to Broadway to repeat his Shylock in "The Merchant of Venice," now transplanted nearly intact to the colonies for the farewell turn of the 46th Street Theatre.
NEWS
March 1, 1992 | By Kathy Boccella, INQUIRER STAFF WRITER
I am a Jew. Hath not a Jew eyes? Hath not a Jew hands, organs, dimensions, senses, affections, passions; fed with the same food, hurt with the same weapons, subject to the same diseases, heal'd by the same means, warm'd and cool'd by the same winter and summer, as a Christian is? If you prick us, do we not bleed? - The Merchant of Venice. Before last week, Lugenia Edgefield had never heard of Shakespeare, much less The Merchant of Venice. Then she read Shylock's powerful speech about prejudice and revenge and felt a kinship with the misunderstood moneylender.
ENTERTAINMENT
February 27, 1998 | By Douglas J. Keating, INQUIRER THEATER CRITIC
The actor comes on stage in full costume and makeup - robes, beard, side curls and a large hooked nose set in a dark-skinned, sinister-looking face. Speaking a compilation of famous lines from The Merchant of Venice, the actor menacingly draws a knife and says: "The pound of flesh which I demand of him/Is dearly bought, is mine, and I will have it. . . . " The words are spoken determinedly, malevolently, chillingly. This is an unabashedly villainous Shylock, one who embodies the Elizabethan Englishman's conception of the Jew as contemptible and evil.
NEWS
May 27, 1989 | By Douglas J. Keating, Inquirer Staff Writer
There is no getting around the fact that The Merchant of Venice is rife with anti-Semitism. For this reason, although it is one of William Shakespeare's most colorful and playable plays, it is not often performed, and the director who chooses to stage it must decide how he is going to approach the ethnically objectionable aspects of the piece. The anti-Semitism of Merchant is embodied in Shylock, whom Shakespeare portrays as a rapacious, vindictive Jew preying on the good, honest Christian burghers of 16th-century Venice.
ENTERTAINMENT
March 31, 1994 | By Douglas J. Keating, INQUIRER THEATER CRITIC
The publicity for the admirable production of The Merchant of Venice at Temple University's Tomlinson Theater has director Jan Silverman saying that Shylock "has to be played as a bad guy. " Indeed, in her version of Shakespeare's play, the character of the Jewish moneylender is not softened. The Shylock portrayed by William Zielinski in this production, staffed with graduate and undergraduate theater students, is bitter, angry, vengeful and merciless. He is difficult to like, even as we are aware that Shakespeare has deliberately overwritten his villainy and appreciate that his vengeful behavior is a quite understandable reaction to the virulent anti-Semitism displayed by the Christian residents of Venice.
ENTERTAINMENT
February 24, 1998 | By Julia M. Klein, INQUIRER STAFF WRITER
It was either an extraordinary coup - or an embarrassment in the making. When Mark Leiren-Young's play, Shylock, premiered in his home town of Vancouver, British Columbia, in the summer of 1996, Patrick Stewart was in the audience. Stewart is best known for his starring role in the television show Star Trek: The Next Generation. But he also happens to be Great Britain's reigning interpreter of Shylock. "He'd written an essay on the character of Shylock and how it had changed his life," Leiren-Young related during a recent visit to Philadelphia.
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ENTERTAINMENT
January 28, 2015 | By Toby Zinman, For The Inquirer
It doesn't get more authentic than this: Athol Fugard's early play, Sizwe Banzi Is Dead , devised in 1972 with John Kani and Winston Ntshona, members of his first theater company, Ntshona, has been splendidly remounted. John Kani directs and his son, Atandwa Kani, stars alongside Mncedisi Shabangu   in this riveting production from Johannesburg's Market Theatre, now at Princeton's McCarter Theatre Center. If you're interested in the history of South Africa under apartheid rule - the era of radical racial segregation or "apartness" - or if you're interested in the history of racial oppression, or if you're interested in engrossing theater about deeply human troubles presented with power and clarity, don't miss this show.
ENTERTAINMENT
October 25, 2011 | By Howard Shapiro, Inquirer Staff Writer
The excellent, fast-moving rendition of The Merchant of Venice by Quintessence Theatre Group at the Sedgwick in Mount Airy is all the more interesting for its choices. Quintessence artistic director Alexander Burns lets William Shakespeare's tale flow like the river of nastiness it is - a comedy because it follows the Elizabethan rule that it end with marriages, but a revenge play that many see nowadays as a repellent portrait of Jews and Christians alike. Burns paints that clearly, and the adept cast wastes little time in displaying a spitfire hatred of whomever their characters despise.
NEWS
June 12, 2011 | By Mark Kennedy, Associated Press
NEW YORK - It was a season on Broadway that was bursting with brilliance and unpredictability. There was Shakespeare, Wilde, and Stoppard, but who could have foreseen a musical with a song about the Mormon prophet becoming a hit? Or a stage filled with horse puppets galloping into the winner's circle? Here are the favorites in Sunday's Tony Awards, telecast at 8 p.m. on CBS3. Best play. This one hinges on what Tony voters love more - writing or spectacle. David Lindsay-Abaire's darkly comic new play, Good People , is a little blue-collar jewel, but it's up against War Horse , a brilliantly staged play with puppets and visuals that make grown men weep but betray its childlike heart.
ENTERTAINMENT
April 25, 2008 | By Toby Zinman FOR THE INQUIRER
Molora, the South African import in its U.S. premiere at the Annenberg Center, is about what all post-apartheid shows seem to be about: guilt. Having recently spent some time in that troubled country, I know that the need for "truth and reconciliation" thickens the air, and that the line with which Molora ends - "We who made the sons and daughters of this land servants in the halls of their forefathers, we know we are only here by grace" -...
NEWS
July 26, 2005 | By Desmond Ryan INQUIRER THEATER CRITIC
In the Shakespeare canon, there are works that, for differing reasons, are designated as problem plays. And then, of course, there is The Merchant of Venice, which these days ranks as the problem play. In a period when bombs are detonated in the name of religious extremism, a plea for can't-we-all-get-along compassion may seem timely. But this one comes on a bilious stream of anti-Semitism poured on Shylock, making the familiar difficulties of staging The Merchant of Venice for a contemporary audience especially intractable.
ENTERTAINMENT
May 13, 2005 | By JAMI BERNARD New York Daily News
Good acting means getting the details right, but the details are what's missing in this French tear-jerker of a comedy about a struggling Jewish actor who pretends he landed a starring movie role so his wife can die peacefully without worrying about his career. Stephane Freiss plays the actor who almost gets to play Shylock in Yiddish for a Spielberg-like director (an unconvincing Peter Coyote). Director and co-writer Steve Suissa misses every opportunity to go deeper, either for laughs or pathos.
ENTERTAINMENT
May 13, 2005 | By Steven Rea INQUIRER MOVIE CRITIC
Although Le Grand Role is set in modern-day Paris, there's something decidedly quaint about this showbiz love story, in which a struggling actor must give the performance of his life for the benefit of his ailing wife - without her knowing it's an act. Maurice Kurtz (St?phane Freiss) ekes out a living dubbing foreign movies into French and doing bit parts on TV. He and his fellow thespian pals are still waiting for the proverbial Big Break, and it seems to come, for Maurice, when an American director (Peter Coyote)
NEWS
January 8, 2004 | By Desmond Ryan INQUIRER THEATER CRITIC
The kids are all right in the revival of Oliver!, but the uneven work of the grown-ups and other disappointing elements of the production make it hard to join the young hero of Lionel Bart's musical in demanding a second helping. Because of its large cast and consequent expense, you are more likely to encounter the durable and now dated Oliver! in a high school performance than on a professional stage. Cameron Mackintosh, the ?ber-producer of blockbuster musicals who has loved the piece since he saw it as a teenager in the '60s, is addressing that problem with a non-Equity national tour.
NEWS
February 27, 2002 | By Douglas J. Keating INQUIRER THEATER CRITIC
For all that Shylock has to say in The Merchant of Venice, there is a silent moment in the show at People's Light & Theatre Company that fixes, more than his words, the fresh, convincing approach this production takes toward the problematic main character. Director James J. Christy achieves it by introducing Tubal, Shylock's Jewish merchant friend whose presence is not indicated in the script, into the trial scene. Tubal sits and quietly watches as Shylock rejects all pleas for mercy and reason, and continues to demand his pound of flesh from Antonio.
ENTERTAINMENT
February 6, 2002 | By HOWARD GENSLER gensleh@phillynews.com Daily News wire services and Electronic Urban Report contributed to this report
IT'S THE BRASSIEST, showiest role in Broadway's biggest hit and the moment has finally arrived for "The Producers' " producers to name the man who will replace Nathan Lane when he leaves the Mel Brooks musical on March 17. The new Max Bialystock is . . . (drum roll) . . . Henry Goodman. Henry Goodman? Who the hell is Henry Goodman? Goodman, 51, is a British stage actor making his Broadway debut. He may be an offbeat choice to step into Lane's shoes, but his career is filled with performances as con artists and gamblers - from Shylock in "The Merchant of Venice" to lawyer Billy Flynn in a revival of "Chicago.
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