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

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 !

Also If you have never experienced an ERS production this is probably not t... Read more Read less

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

Also This production speeds through the boring parts of MfM which, accordin... Read more Read less

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

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.

Clever, Funny, Great acting, Ambitious, Edgy

See it if Elevator Repair Service - they of Gatz fame - meets Shakepare tackling judgement morality and justice in a manic but uneven production

Don't see it if You need your Shakespeare pure and don’t like modern updates in style speed costume and staging even with very inventive staging

Ambitious, Confusing, Dizzying, Great acting, Hilarious

See it if ERS's ability to find and/or create clever and slapstick humor is unparalleled; company shows its great versatility in multiple roles

Don't see it if Attempt to distill a moderate Shakespeare piece cannot overcome its mediocrity despite the humor and stage creativity

Quirky, Dizzying, Confusing, Funny, Disappointing

See it if you have the patience not to be thrown by a very eccentric production. There's terrific acting & some profound & funny moments buried here.

Don't see it if untraditional treatment of Shakespeare bothers you. Much of the slapstick is pointless & the production is disjointed & often irrational.

Smart, Tactical, Great staging

See it if you enjoy the quirky avant-garde work from ERS and dont mind teleprompter for Shakespeare

Don't see it if you prefer a traditional Shakespearean staging

Hard to get into the rhythm, Know the story before you see this play

See it if you want to see Mr. Shepherd do a bang up job as the Duke. See it if you want a condensed version of the play.

Don't see it if you have trouble hearing when actors are speaking at a rapid pace. Don't see it if you are expecting true Shakespeare.

Also If you are not familiar with the play, first see "Desperate Measures" ... Read more Read less

Clever, Great staging, Quirky

See it if experimental version of shakespeare play. slow at times. Two hours no intermission, great theater group with great talent. funny at times

Don't see it if if you are are tired of measure for measure or do not like video screen words and experimental theater

Clever, Delightful, Funny, Dizzying

See it if Enjoy a fun, intelligent interpretation of a rarely seen Shakespeare play.

Don't see it if You want a traditional 'reading' of Shakespeare.

Also I am not sure why all the negative reviews. My husband, daughter and m... Read more Read less

Clever, Great acting, Quirky

See it if you can keep up with quickly paced Shakespeare

Don't see it if you hate modernized Shakespeare

Ambitious, Clever, Entertaining, Thought-provoking, Great staging

See it if you are fan of ERS and the talented troupe working at mach speed here fully committed to this interpretation of the Shakespeare text

Don't see it if you are not a fan of this "problem" play of Shakespeare's

Ambitious, Clever, Funny

See it if are curios about experiments with Shakespeare and timing in theatre. Re-read the summary prior to the show.

Don't see it if ..can't seat trough 2 h with no intermission, there is no re-entry. You expect something conventional.

Ambitious, Entertaining, Confusing

See it if You are a fan of the play and/or want to see a slapstick comedy style shakespeare

Don't see it if You can’t follow really quick dialogue

Clever, Delightful, Entertaining, Funny, Must see

See it if Shakespeare at it's best- funny, inventive, clever and wonderfully staged and acted. Made very accesssible. Timely, too!

Don't see it if you don't like broad, witty comedy

Clever, Riveting, Dizzying

See it if You appreciate experimental theatre and the fascinating approaches of the Elevator Repair Service

Don't see it if You can’t sit for 2 hours and 15 minutes with no intermission, you need the delivery straightforward, or if you’re a purist.

Entertaining, Clever, Great acting, Funny, Intelligent

See it if you like modern adaptations of Shakespeare with the original text. Great touch to have the show on one set with actorsplaying multiple parts

Don't see it if you don't like shows with lengthy monologues or where the actors speak very quickly.

Ambitious, Indulgent, Clever

See it if you're a fan of the company or a Shakespeare completist.

Don't see it if you don't have some familiarity with the play.

Clever, Dizzying, Edgy, Quirky, Intelligent

See it if You are open minded about new interpretations of Shakespeare. You can see the humor in many situations that can be viewed as dark.

Don't see it if You want to see a traditional Shakespearean play where the language is an essential part of your enjoyment.

Edgy, Intense, Funny

See it if you know the plot in advance-try sparknotes or wikipedia first can wait an hour for the the intense energy to develop looking for an unconve

Don't see it if impatient can't handle a bit of slapstick are bothered by video screen running

Clever, Great acting, Ambitious, Quirky, Slow

See it if New concepts and innovative staging interest you, and you've an open mind to these different ideas.

Don't see it if you expect the traditional Shakespearean direction and that is your decided preference

Ambitious, Clever, Refreshing, Entertaining

See it if think M/for/M is not one of your favorite Shakespeare plays. This refreshing approach tightens up the plot without changing text.

Don't see it if think Shakespeare must always be performed in the traditional classical style.

Ambitious, Thought-provoking, Quirky

See it if You seek out unconventional productions of Shakespeare. This is a challenging interpretation of a "problem" play.

Don't see it if you're a Shakespeare traditionalist or if the very words "avant-garde" turn your stomach. Also it's over 2 hours, no intermission.

Refreshing, Riveting, Great acting, Enchanting, Absorbing

See it if The acting is amazing, the women in the show are able to make Shakespeare relatable and fun.

Don't see it if You have not read the play or at least a summary of the play, lots of characters, could be confusing.

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...
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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...
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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...
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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...
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