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
Avg Score

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.

Ambitious, Quirky, Disappointing, Erratic, Brisk

See it if an unconventional approach to Shakespeare

Don't see it if it is unpleasant to listen to unintelligible speed-talking and view busy choreographed distractions simultaneously

Disappointing, Gimmicky, Irritating

See it if You will see anything by the Elevator Repair Service...even their lesser presentations.

Don't see it if You dislike dialogue delivered so quickly as to be incomprehensible, followed by scenes that drag out the interaction.

Slow, Confusing, Disappointing

See it if you're interested in new and innovative ways of approaching shakespeare

Don't see it if you want a classical adaptation of shakespeare, or one full of excitement

Entertaining, Quirky, Thought-provoking, Slow, Cliched

See it if you like off-beat Shakespeare, you enjoy physical comedy, you want to see famous moments of this play in a new & interesting way

Don't see it if you are expecting something groundbreaking, you like traditional Shakespeare, you can't sit for more than 2 hours

Clever, Great acting, Quirky

See it if you can keep up with quickly paced Shakespeare

Don't see it if you hate modernized Shakespeare

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.

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


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

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.

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.

Ambitious, Confusing, Great staging

See it if You enjoy contemporary staging of Shakepeare's classics; and know enough about the play to independently connect the dots.

Don't see it if You prefer your Shakespeare well enunciated and audible; or staged with Elizabethan sensibilities.

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

Confusing, Dizzying, Excruciating

See it if you are very familiar with the text

Don't see it if you want to see a show that makes sense

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.

Great acting, Ambitious, Confusing, Dizzying, Disappointing

See it if The one redeeming quality of the play was the acting. You can take a lot of bad scenes for one or two scenes that get you hooked.

Don't see it if You want to see a semi-normal Shakespeare production that is coherent with pacing and direction that you can follow and understand

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

Clever, Ambitious, Disappointing

See it if You like the Marx Brothers style of sketch comedy which this production is largely based on.

Don't see it if you don't like people taking liberties with the rhythm of the text.

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.

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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