Already closed | 1h 30m | Midtown W

Measure for Measure (The Acting Company)

From 45 member  reviews
Members say: Absorbing, Entertaining, Great acting, Relevant, Intelligent

About the show

The Acting Company presents Shakespeare's dark work about a devout novice who faces impossible moral choices. Performed in rotating repertory with "Native Son." More…

From the show:

Shakespeare’s strikingly current play speaks powerfully about impossible moral choices in the story of the devout novice Isabella, whose faith is tested when her brother is sentenced to death for impregnating Juliet out of wedlock. When the outwardly virtuous leader Angelo propositions Isabella in exchange for his release, she must consider whether upholding her holy vows is worth her innocent brother’s life.

1h 30m | Already closed | The Duke on 42nd Street (Midtown W)

Member Reviews (45)


Absorbing, Entertaining, Great acting, Relevant, Intelligent
Avg Score

Relevant, Prosaic directing, Subpar acting, Well-trimmed, Disappointing

See it if you must see every NYC Shakes prodn. But MFM is not up to the Acting Co's high standards. Many of the actors fail, wh is director's fault.

Don't see it if you have other options. Script is efficiently trimmed, but 90 feels long. Male-dominated. Amateurish. Lacks emotion or humor. Flat.

Also The issues are not with the play (i.e. the script), but with the produ... Read more Read less

Thought-provoking, Great writing, Absorbing

See it if Bill's morality play: A nun decides if she must trade her chastity to pardon her brother. "Alright, girl, more of that."

Don't see it if Between the gold chains and the vape pipe; the disco beats and the coke hits, iambic pentameter is retained. Oh, the calumny!

Also "I am a kind of burr, I so shall stick." Uneven acting. Choose "Native... Read more Read less

Nicely condensed script, Great acting, Intelligent, Relevant, Clever

See it if you want to see a clever and effective condensing of this Shakespeare play. Well acted and staged.

Don't see it if you prefer Shakespeare play to be uncut and set in traditional time and dress.

Also I always thought the plot of this play was very good but the dialogue ... Read more Read less

Disappointing, Great seats, Short for shakespeare, Ambitious, Great staging

See it if you love that it’s a short 90-min Shakespeare!

Don't see it if you don’t like that it’s still in iambic pentameter even though the show was cut to 90-mins and everything else is modern.

Rep is hard, Overrated, Disappointing

See it if Only 90 minutes. One or two laughs. Integrity saves lives and honor. Shades of Harvey Weinstein. Change is slow.

Don't see it if Not Shakespeare’s best work, I last saw this at the Delacorte Theatre with Liev Schreiber. His dour, low-energy performance sent me packing

Also after Act One. Energy is high in this production but the directing is ... Read more Read less

Light, Streamlined, Great singing, Opportune, Great writing

See it if you've quietly harbored the belief that Duke Vincentio is a royal a-hole and wouldn't mind it so much if Lucio were one of the leads.

Don't see it if you prefer a more muscular version of Shakespeare's text. This rendering is trimmed down to the almost-skeletal.

Also Memorable line: "Let's write good angel on the devil's horn."

Absorbing, Clever, Entertaining, Great acting, Great writing

See it if You get a kick from Shakespeares beautiful words and tricky situations. We had a lovely time following plot twists + turns . Good acting

Don't see it if You’re close minded to the text- it’s easy after you settle in and go with the flow. You want a full period costume play- this is sparse

Also Native Son is hailed as the better play of the two ( I didn’t see it) ... Read more Read less


See it if You love Shakespeare. If you like intimate theater

Don't see it if You don’t like Shakespeare in a modern setting. If you are expecting all actors to be wonderful

Quirky, Ambitious, Relevant, Resonant, Intelligent

See it if Intelligent, if a bit over edited for length. The women win in this version, both the actors and the characters.

Don't see it if Not quite Reduced Shakespeare, but trimmed way down. And then there's that Bartlett-Sher-My-Fair-Lady ending.

Intelligent, Masterful, Great acting, Thought-provoking, Relevant

See it if you want to see a Shakespeare play with relevance today, thanks to the MeToo movement and questioning the concept of consent.

Don't see it if you don't like Shakespeare plays performed on simple sets.

During previews
Absorbing, Good acting, Abridged, Great staging, Entertaining

See it if you want to see a successful production of Shakespeare's tragicomedy, sparsely & effectively staged, well-acted (by most) & smartly edited.

Don't see it if you're a Shakespeare purist; you're not interested in the debate/struggle between Christian morality & mercy vs. civil law & justice.

Also I have seen so many dreadful productions of MforM that I was beginning... Read more Read less

During previews
Handsome, Well-played, Stripped-down, Swift, Clear

See it if you’d like to see how, when Shakespeare’s notorious “problem play” is stripped to its essence, it’s not a problem anymore.

Don't see it if you are looking for the play’s comic subplots: In this production they’ve been scrubbed away.

Also In just the past few months I’ve seen 2 other full productions plus a ... Read more Read less

During previews
Truncated version of one of will’s great problem plays; less than top flight acting

See it if Will’s brilliant play fits together like a Swiss watch; speaks 2 today’s MeToo, hypocrisy of those in power

Don't see it if acting by certain recent acting school graduates is awkward and unsubtle; truncated version loses grandeur of full play

During previews
I don’t understand william shakespeare

See it if You like remakes of old things

Don't see it if You think this is going to be something new and modern. It’s not it’s William Shakespeare

Also I am just going to flat out say that I am not smart enough to understa... Read more Read less

During previews
Refreshing, Edgy, Entertaining, Ambitious

See it if You enjoy Shakespeare with a twist. Original dialogue in contemporary setting with modern costumes. Not one of the better known plays.

Don't see it if You expect a traditional Shakespeare play with elaborate set and old time setting. Some actors play their roles a little too “over the top.”

During previews
Entertaining, Well edited and well paced, Absorbing, Great acting, Focused

See it if impressed when incomprehensible Shakespearean characters are rendered reasonable through the hard analytical work of the actors & director

Don't see it if you want to see MfM done as a riotous comedy; dislike the classical tendency to have all the action take place as soliloquy

Also Moodliar is excellent as the Duke of Vienna. Usually played as a carel... Read more Read less

During previews
Engaging, Good acting, Entertaining

See it if you like Shakespeare or are interested in the "me too" movement.

Don't see it if if modern attire and modernization of a classic bothers you or if you are sensitive about sexual abuse.

During previews
Delightful, Great staging, Great acting, Clever, Absorbing

See it if An outstanding production with a powerful cast! Loved it!💕💕💕

Don't see it if Only if don’t like Shakespeare. Otherwise go go go!!!

During previews
Quirky, Intelligent, Great writing

See it if you like all things Shakespeare; won't mind a truncated script which is well-edited; want to encourage a company of young actors.

Don't see it if you prefer your Shakespeare "pure" & dislike random modern elements that are wholly out of place. You're expecting uniformly good acting.

Also The worst part of this for me personally was the silly additions of ce... Read more Read less

During previews
Resonant, Relevant, Intelligent, Entertaining, Absorbing

See it if you want to see how Shakespeare can be distilled down to his essential elements and still retain poetry. Well conceived and fast moving

Don't see it if you want a fully developed sense of character and motivation. 90 minutes does not allow for either but it does describe the plot and issues

During previews
Thought-provoking, Relevant, Great writing, Great staging, Absorbing

See it if you love The Bard ,not strict about authenticity of period and retention of every word, you can see the resonance with current power abuse

Don't see it if you must have period dress, you will miss the omission of a few scenes, you are not interested in power dynamics and the quality of mercy

During previews
Good acting by two actors, Thought-provoking, Ambitious

See it if Like anything from Shakespeare , appreciate good editing of his play(90 min), want to support recent Juilliard graduates.

Don't see it if Modern costumes, empty stage, strobe light, level of "acting" of several "actors " is close to "0"

Also Anthony Bowen, Keshav Moodliar-very good potential, the rest-sorry, no... Read more Read less

During previews
Funny, Intelligent, Clever, Absorbing

See it if you want to see a well cast version of M4M that moves close to being too on the nose but doesn't fall apart. Moving dialogue well spoken

Don't see it if if you have seen multiple version of M4M recently as this version is a good take but not a revolutionary take of a play in revival.

Also M4M because of its themes "made for 2019" of sexual violence, abuse of... Read more Read less

During previews
Safe, Quirky, Great staging

See it if into a good, updated classic.

Don't see it if the old language bothers you.

Also This is notably a mixed-race company, but the only blind-casting here ... Read more Read less

During previews
Thought-provoking, Great staging, Clever

See it if you like to see performers who give their best and make the Shakespeare play relevant to today's issues. Not a bad seat in the house.

Don't see it if you have trouble following language in verse, rather than straight prose. You do not like an intimate theater.

July 28th, 2019
"Fighting the Power in 'Native Son' and 'Measure for Measure.' The Acting Company pairs Richard Wright and William Shakespeare to wake us up to injustice."
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August 6th, 2019
"This is the Reader's Digest version, a ninety-minute summary that focuses on the main narrative line while severely reducing or eliminating the bawds, pimps, whores, and unrepentant criminals who form the play's substructure, becoming solely the story of a lady in distress, surrounded by manipul...
read more
August 10th, 2019
"To some extent, The Acting Company's streamlined 95-minute modern-dress version proves itself a good fit for such an approach, although there are elements of Shakespeare's play that don't quite conform seamlessly with what director Janet Zarish seems to be going for."
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August 4th, 2019
"'Measure' doesn't need the glaring visual cues that Janet Zarish delivers in a cut that leaves little but Isabella's quest to save her brother…with little emotional variation, even this slimmed-down version becomes tedious, with few performances popping out."
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