Measure for Measure (The Public Theater)
Closed 2h 10m
Measure for Measure (The Public Theater)
63

Measure for Measure (The Public Theater) NYC Reviews and Tickets

63%
(88 Reviews)
Positive
51%
Mixed
27%
Negative
22%
Members say
Ambitious, Confusing, Disappointing, Quirky, Clever

About the Show

Elevator Repair Service, the Obie-winning company behind 'Gatz,' returns to The Public to celebrate their 25th season with a new production of Shakespeare’s dark comedy about vice and hypocrisy.

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Member Reviews (88)

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692 Reviews | 152 Followers
57
Indulgent, Slow, Quirky, Confusing

See it if You are very, very familiar with Shakespeare's plot, can tolerate drastically reimagined classics, enjoy what may be creative gimmicks,

Don't see it if You want your Bard done in linear style that doesn't challenge, don't like edited, rethought productions that can be hard to follow

MJK
677 Reviews | 187 Followers
15
Excruciating, Torturous, Ineffective, Confounding

See it if ... see it if... if... well... umm... I got nothin'.

Don't see it if you have any respect for Shakespeare, The Public, the Elevator Repair Service or your time. [This ill-conceived MforM is a total misfire.] Read more

464 Reviews | 128 Followers
78
Ambitious, Quirky, Thought-provoking, Great acting, Funny

See it if You are a fan of ERS. You want to see the absolute most unusual rendering of this classic Shakesperian play ever ! You are open minded.

Don't see it if You can’t leave Pre-conceived ideas out of your mind. You are uncomfortable if you can’t understand everything you hear ! Read more

Nic
447 Reviews | 86 Followers
80
Ambitious, Dizzying, Funny, Confusing, Indulgent

See it if you'd like Measure for Measure performed with zany hijinx, rapid-fire delivery, and alternately too-fast and too-slow pacing.

Don't see it if the no-holds barred comic performances of the cast aren't enough to sway you to try out this slapstick version of the play.

433 Reviews | 93 Followers
48
Ambitious, Clever, Confusing, Disappointing, Dizzying

See it if You LOVE ERS and all they do. Occassionally funny mixed with a lot of WTF?

Don't see it if you like hearing Shakespeare's words. Brutally fast in some places, excruciatingly slow in others. This was all over the place.

399 Reviews | 202 Followers
65
Great writing, Ambitious, Confusing, Disappointing, Dizzying

See it if A beautiful play. Some very nice, touching moments. And shockingly relevant to today.

Don't see it if The director made the weird choice of having the actors speed through much of the script, making it hard to understand.

387 Reviews | 132 Followers
82
One scene justifies the entire experiment

See it if you're ok w/ a single, brilliant, 5-10 min. scene that could forever change your reading of MfM even if the other 120 min. are a slog

Don't see it if you’re new to the play and want to understand Measure for Measure; you want a show that’s entertaining the whole time Read more

407 Reviews | 67 Followers
70
Ambitious, Confusing, Dizzying, Great acting, Indulgent

See it if you like traditional Shakespearean language, mixed era costumes,typical Elevator Repair Service sets. Not as good as TFANA production

Don't see it if are a traditionalist. They work too hard to break it down

Critic Reviews (30)

The New York Times
October 10th, 2017

"I usually lower my expectations for 'Measure'...But even in over-conceptualized versions, there’s usually at least one, thought-provoking portrayal that illuminates. Mr. Collins’s production does feature one such performance, from Mr. Shepherd. Mostly, though, it translates the challenges of a notorious problem play into ‘oh, why not?’ parlor tricks and slapstick. Much of the intermissionless, two-hours-plus show is conducted at a rushing tempo that defies comprehension."
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Time Out New York
October 10th, 2017

"As far as language goes, the production is often unintelligible...That doesn’t matter in the clown bits, but one misses important information and poetry in other scenes...Yet the show has many compensatory assets...Several performances are delightful...And the production is funny in unexpected ways...Audiences who don’t know 'Measure for Measure' may well find this version confusing. Those who know the text well, however, will find much to enjoy in ERS’s pointed run-through."
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New York Magazine / Vulture
October 10th, 2017

"It’s thrilling to see a group of artists throw themselves into a project where there’s the actual risk that the whole thing might go terribly wrong...In this case, some things have gone pretty seriously wrong...There’s so much potential resonance here that it’s maddening to watch the ERS production skate across the play’s surface...Collins is more interested in the game he’s playing with Shakespeare’s text than in its content...Some of the ERS ensemble do manage to rise above the gimmickry."
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Deadline
October 10th, 2017

“A mess that lands primarily as a showcase for the amazing Scott Shepherd…The effect of John Collins’ gimmicky production is breathless, as if to say let’s race through this and just get to the good parts. But the good parts are nearly as incomprehensible (except when Shepherd is commanding a scene). With the language – especially the good parts – spun into a word smoothie, I couldn’t really tell what the point is.”
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The Washington Post
October 13th, 2017

"Some virtually unrecognizable version of itself, like an operating room full of inept plastic surgeons botching a facelift...Elevator Repair Service proves here to be wholly out of its element with Shakespeare...The modern-dress actors spit out much of Shakespeare’s language as if they’re in an Olympic speed-reading contest...With this production’s silly affectations, Elevator Repair Service turns a problem play into a merely ridiculous one."
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Theatermania
October 10th, 2017

"There's much to recommend 'Measure for Measure' as a play for our times...But there's somewhat less to recommend Elevator Repair Service's new production. John Collins directs the play at a frenetic pace. Though this does make for some high-octane performances, the play's language is sometimes rendered incomprehensible by the rapid-fire delivery...While Elevator Repair Service deserves kudos for pushing the play to its limits, we wish it were a little more measured in pushing us to ours."
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BroadwayWorld
October 14th, 2017

"The lack of clarity seems intentional...The absence of understandable wit makes the evening seem a frenetic blur...But then everything slows down for an emotional scene...If at this point a viewer can moved by the story and characters, it is most likely from previous familiarity with the play...This 'Measure for Measure' appears to be a case of concept over content....If you're not satisfied with the results, you may still find the effort quite admirable."
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Lighting & Sound America
October 16th, 2017

"It's more like 'Highlights from Measure'...Sargeant and Groff are giving what are by far the production's standout performances...Otherwise, under Collins' direction, it's anything goes. Admittedly, 'Measure' is a confounding work...While most productions try to find some rationale for these events, Collins and company throw up their hands, dispensing with psychology altogether...This production has everything but a baseline interest in the text."
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