Closed 2h 45m
The Merchant of Venice (Lincoln Center Festival)
Upper W Side
85

The Merchant of Venice (Lincoln Center Festival) NYC Reviews and Tickets

85%
(26 Reviews)
Positive
92%
Mixed
4%
Negative
4%
Members say
Great acting, Absorbing, Great staging, Intelligent, Thought-provoking

About the Show

The Lincoln Center Festival presents the Shakespeare's Globe production of the Bard's classic problem play, starring two-time Tony winner Jonathan Price as Shylock.

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Member Reviews (26)

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65
Difficult play, Serviceable production

See it if you want to hear WS well-spoken. A solid production, but unexciting. If you need MOV for your bucketlist, a good opportunity. Great costumes

Don't see it if you dislike audience participation (house lites kept on low). Bad case of nepotism w/ Phoebe Pryce. Difficult plot to make effective.

76
Intelligent, Relevant, Great acting, Disappointing, Overrated

See it if You like decent English actors speaking Shakespeare, traditional setting with traditional costumes, fan of the High Sparrow,

Don't see it if You expect dazzling, innovative staging, want more than adequate acting, an evening that never catches fire, community-accepted antisemitism

Critic Reviews (17)

July 22nd, 2016

"A brooding, powerful production…Throughout the director Jonathan Munby’s lucid and strongly acted staging, we will remain aware that while this Shakespearean play is classified as a comedy and is poised ambivalently between light and dark, it will generally be the baser aspects of humanity that prevail...Mr. Pryce illuminates Shylock’s anguish so vividly, his face a contorted mask of spiritual suffering, that it all but erases any sense of contrasting light and dark in the play."
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July 23rd, 2016

"A stodgy, underwhelming affair. More or less Renaissance Venice in its period costumes and incidental music, Jonathan Munby’s staging is unfussy and direct, but rarely exciting...Pryce speaks his text with that mellifluous, subtly menacing delivery, shifting from complacent self-satisfaction to howling dismay. But his Shylock a generally passive, cerebral performance, all in the voice and very little in the body. Still, what a grand voice. Pryce is one of the last of the classically trained greats."
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July 22nd, 2016

"As the much maligned yet ethically questionable Jewish moneylender Shylock, Pryce's multifaceted performance is so nuanced that he dominates Jonathan Munby's mounting...During Pryce's offstage scenes, however, this 'Merchant of Venice' is disappointingly black-and-white. The romantic moments between the lovers never quite gel, with far too many of the performers fading into the background. Only in the climactic trial scene does this production come to life as a whole."
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July 23rd, 2016

"Jonathan Munby’s first-rate Shakespeare’s Globe production...Throughout, Munby keeps the disdain for Jews prominent...Pryce plays Shylock as a man of great dignity, despite (because of?) the hatred accorded him...During the parts of the play when the Shylock plot gets a breather and the competition for Portia’s hand and its aftermath takes focus, Munby hews to a more tradition approach every bit as successful as the enhanced Shylock episodes. He has a first-rate cast performing for him."
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July 22nd, 2016

"Live sightings of Jonathan Pryce are rare in New York...His complex, blazingly internalized Shylock is a reminder of how much we’ve been missing. Director Munby’s handsome, modest, stylistically jarring production is a mixed treasure. It is obnoxious in its audience-participation clowning, but harrowing in its violent juxtaposition of the merry Venetian gentiles and their unspeakably casual cruelty to the Jews."
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Z
July 25th, 2016

"Pryce’s portrait of Shylock in the dark and powerful production is brilliant and tragic. He invests his character with so much humanity that the distances of time and space vanish...All the performances, under the direction of Jonathan Munby, are excellent, with particularly stellar turns from the three women…A brilliant production, and a performance that will stay with you long after the torches go out."
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July 22nd, 2016

"The very best of what a traditional production can be, throwing light on the text but with enough new touches to preserve against boredom…Pryce’s Shylock rescued the role from being a 'comment' on race, and returned it to the story of a battered, angry and increasingly mad old man, pushed to savagery by the savagery around him…In this production he was rendered as a complexly as I’ve seen…The effect of the play was as of a punch to the gut."
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May 20th, 2015
For a previous production

"Though the production might appear at the outset to be conventional, don’t be misled. Mike Britton’s richly brocaded costumes may be period-sumptuous, but this ever-problematic play forsakes sartorial pageantry to land with a telling sting in its tail. Suffice it to say that Mr. Munby and his largely expert company understand the difficulty in classifying as comic a play that is so dominated by the vilification of the Jewish moneylender Shylock."
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May 1st, 2015
For a previous production

"The production is typically polished and fluently performed by the ensemble, but as an interpretation it's an exercise in cognitive dissonance…For viewers untroubled by the queasy contradictions on display, there's much to recommend about this otherwise energetic, word-perfect and thoughtful production. Pryce Sr. is, of course, in every way the star of the show. Here, he gives a performance rich in gravitas and grace that finds the dignity and pride in Shylock."
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May 1st, 2015
For a previous production

"Jonathan Pryce, presents us with a Shylock of weight, gravity and considerable complexity…Pryce’s performance also sets the tone for Jonathan Munby’s production which is, for the most part, a refreshingly sombre, quietly moving affair...There is also good work among the generally revolting Christians...It is Pryce’s Shylock, however, who occupies the memory."
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May 1st, 2015
For a previous production

"The most sympathetic Shylock I’ve seen…Do we struggle to understand how he could murderously insist on his ‘pound of flesh?’ A little…Yet Pryce doesn’t disappoint…It’s always more of a duty than a pleasure this play, but Munby ensures it’s not hard-going and that the lighter and darker elements combine in a seamless whole...Boasting gorgeous period attire, the production does more than glisten – even if it’s not absolute gold."
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May 1st, 2015
For a previous production

"A cogent, funny and sympathetic telling of Shakespeare’s play…Munby avoids the great questions of the play and steers a course through the waters of sympathy, self-interest and capitalism. The result is a richly amusing take on the play, which is involving and clear, but which never achieves great heights of lyricism or drama, happily accepting ‘everyday’ as its overall pulse...Pryce presents a memorable, complete and completely flawed Shylock."
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May 1st, 2015
For a previous production

"Some impressive individual turns don’t quite manage to mesh all this into a compelling whole. Pryce is excellent, with a notable gravitas and richness of performance. There’s particularly lovely work from Dorothea Myer-Bennett as Nerissa...She offers a delicious range of expressive looks and gestures. I’m always struck by how mean 'Merchant' can be...This is a society with a skewed value system and we leave the Globe pondering this anew."
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May 1st, 2015
For a previous production

"Jonathan Munby’s clear-headed production of 'The Merchant of Venice' treads a fine line between solid and sparkling: there’s no flashy concept, but there are flashes of directorial insight...The casket scenes are also inflated to the maximum cartoon caricature, with dim-witted suitors mincing and sword-waving about the stage; hilarious or tedious depending on your sense of humour...But Munby knows how to balance the comedy with tragedy."
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July 13th, 2016
For a previous production

"Jonathan Munby, who directs with narrative clarity, plays the comedy for all its worth, throwing the reverse side of the coin into sharper relief…While Pryce is luminous, there’s ne’er a duff note among the assembled cast…Pryce’s real-life daughter Phoebe impresses as Shylock’s estranged child Jessica...It’s handsomely staged by designer Mike Britton...Munby balances the forces of light and dark equally before blindsiding the audience in the closing minutes."
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May 3rd, 2015
For a previous production

"Director Jonathan Munby constructs his production to lend a sympathetic ear toward Shylock, and the famous speech, 'Hath not a Jew eyes?' is particularly sombre when unfolded using Pryce’s voice…Yet the production avoids too much melancholy by making the most of the humour, with light comedy in the form of mistaken identities and impossible suitors."
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May 1st, 2015
For a previous production

"It's not often you laugh out loud at Shakespeare…But Jonathan Munby's production of 'Merchant of Venice' had the Globe roaring with laughter. Delightful touches, audience participation and wry asides make the magic of Shakespeare's text accessible and engaging…Pryce gives an exquisitely nuanced portrayal of one of the most complex characters in the Shakespeare canon."
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