Already closed | 2h 10m | East Village

Measure for Measure (The Public Theater)

From 88 member  reviews
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. More…

With athletic theatricality and Marx-Brothers-inspired slapstick, the ERS ensemble brings new life to this story of impossible moral choices in 17th-century Vienna. Radical experiments with speed set the play’s combination of the comically absurd and the tragically serious in stark relief, and deliver a new show that marries the company’s unique performance style with the Bard’s exquisitely lyrical language. ERS Founder and Artistic Director John Collins directs.

Member Reviews (88)


Ambitious, Confusing, Disappointing, Quirky, Clever

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.]

Also The positive reviews here are inexplicable to me. It is a rare sight t... Read more Read less

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.

Slow, Ambitious, Irritating, Tedious, Indulgent

See it if you love Shakespeare in any form and are willing to tolerate an admittedly ambitious but enervating and slow production.

Don't see it if you want something fresh, entertaining, or stimulating. It tries, but ultimately is high energy going nowhere.

Disappointing, An aural mess, Huh?

See it if You have to see every production of Measure on stage right now, regardless...wait, no you don’t! See Desperate Measures instead!

Don't see it if You love the language of Shakespeare.

Also Elevator Repair Service beyond horrible with Measure for Measure. Slur... Read more Read less

Butchery, Disappointing, Confusing, Excruciating, Fast

See it if You listen to your podcasts on 2.25x playback. The cast speaks in hyperspeed for 70% of the show.

Don't see it if You like Shakespeare.

Also For once, I agree with Ben Brantley basically verbatim. Read the NYT r... Read more Read less

Confusing, Excruciating, Annoying, Banal, Pointless

See it if you enjoy seeing unusual directorial "concepts" of Shakespeare plays, even if they are not always successful.

Don't see it if you love Shakespeare and think that his plays can be done in many ways but should always respect the integrity of the text.

Also One of the central concepts of this interpretation seems to be that th... Read more Read less

Excruciating, Indulgent, Disappointing, Confusing, Funny

See it if You want to watch actors read their speeches from a teleprompter

Don't see it if You like to see Shakespeare's language approached thoughtfully

Confusing, Disappointing, Excruciating

See it if You must see everything the Public Theater puts on the stage, no matter what. Or, if you like getting headaches, this one is for you.

Don't see it if You like theater to be intelligible. This experimental treatment misses the mark by a mile.

Confusing, Disappointing, Excruciating, Slow

See it if Interested in a 2 hour and 20 minutes (no intermission) mangled production of a Shakespeare comedy with little humor.

Don't see it if if you are looking for an entertaing production of a Shakespearean comedy.


See it if Don’t go see this, it’s truly a terrible production. I watched several people leave this one act WAY TOO LONG banal performance

Don't see it if N/A

Overrated, Slow, Indulgent, Excruciating, Disappointing

See it if Nope. Okay. See it if you're interested in concepts and their execution, and watching how it can work and how it can fail.

Don't see it if You're not a theatermaker who'd benefit from watching a misfire.

During previews
Unengaging, Unwatchable, Unsuccessful, Unintelligible

See it if you like experimentation for its own sake. The play's NOT the thing, only the playing w/it is. You can't follow MFM, but for some that works

Don't see it if you want engagement; you can't hear WS's glorious words which are spoken at high speed/over constant recorded noise. Unsuccessful concept.

Also This MFM was thoroughly disappointing. Even the production values (cos... Read more Read less

During previews
Disappointing, Poorly acted, Nonsensical, Insipid

See it if You want to see everything Elevator Repair Service produces, regardless of quality

Don't see it if You don't think sexual blackmail is farcical, you want actors to actually know their lines, you like it when jokes make sense.

During previews
Insipid, Quirky, Disappointing, Confusing, Cliched

See it if If you like experimental productions of classic plays.

Don't see it if If you like traditional productions of Shakespeare and being able to understand what is being said really matters to you.

Also Very gimmicky, confusing and disappointing. Had there been an intermis... Read more Read less

During previews
Disappointing, Excruciating, Insipid

See it if If you like deconstructed text.

Don't see it if Don’t. Just don’t. It’s nonsense. Many audience members walked out during the performance.

Also ERS, known for illuminating text, have here shredded it. They read off... Read more Read less

During previews
Confusing, Quirky, Indulgent, Disappointing, Edgy

See it if you're open to any and all kinds of interpretations of Shakespeare. I found it incoherent (literally!) with no overall vision.

Don't see it if you prize Shakepeare's language and prefer your Bard straight up.

During previews
Slow, Excruciating, Insipid, Disappointing, Ambitious

See it if you enjoy Shakespeare remakes.

Don't see it if you are tired of seeing yet another remake of Shakespeare's works. It's edgy to be sure, but do we really need another remake?

During previews
Edgy, Excruciating, Slow

See it if you love Shakespeare and you want to see a creative interpretation of Measure for Measure

Don't see it if you'd like to actually understand what the actors are saying

During previews
Confusing, Disappointing, Excruciating, Indulgent, Ambitious

See it if You are an ERS megafan who thinks Shakespeare is overrated and should be sacrificed for the sake of ill-conceived experimentalism.

Don't see it if You have any respect for Shakespeare, theater, artistic integrity, or your own bladder (2hr10min with no intermission)

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 n...
read more
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 w...
read more
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 product...
read more
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 sce...
read more

Related content