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)

MEMBERS SAY:

Ambitious, Confusing, Disappointing, Quirky, Clever
63
Avg Score

During previews
70
Funny, Quirky, Intelligent, Clever, Slow

See it if You enjoy Shakespeare's comedies and don't mind if it's read more than acted. More clever than enjoyable or engrossing. First hour drags.

Don't see it if you don't want to or can't sit for 2hrs and 15minutes without an intermission. Want to see more acting than reading of Shakespeare.

During previews
54
Confusing, Disappointing, Dizzying, Quirky

See it if You like Elevator Repair Service -- but read it first! Much is taken at a rapid, incomprehensible pace. Whole idea is varied "measures."

Don't see it if You like your Shakespeare at a measured, understandable pace that does justice to the great scenes in this play.

During previews
45
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
5
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
45
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
41
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
60
Clever, Ambitious, Disappointing, Great acting, Eccentric

See it if you are a big ERS fan and enjoy absurdist/slapstick/slightly Dada/meta theater. Visually exciting, ultra committed, funny performances.

Don't see it if You want traditional Shakespeare or to savor the prose, you don't like breakneck-auctioneer quick pace. You don't like ERS-type absurdity.

Also I'm a huge ERS fan, but at this point, this isn't one of their more st... Read more Read less

During previews
38
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
9
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)

During previews
100
Absorbing, Thought-provoking, Intelligent, Hilarious, Great acting

See it if You--ESPECIALLY supposed NY'ers--do research on the show's company and its aesthetic aims. It's the 21st century. Experimentation is crucial

Don't see it if You think Shkspr can only be done in tights, no text cuts, w/ overly poised diction and cowardly adherence to 300 yr old production vibes.

During previews
100
Absorbing, Ambitious, Great acting, Thought-provoking, Hilarious

See it if You understand that newer artistic languages (jazz, modern dance, etc) can only come from taking apart old forms. Shkspr's not immune..

Don't see it if Don't have Shakespeare elevated to God status (Shkspr himself wouldn't have preferred that).

During previews
93
Clever, Ambitious, Dizzying, Funny, Great acting

See it if You like new takes on things. I knew this company would likely do crazy things w/ the text, so I relaxed and enjoyed! Fun performances!

Don't see it if You don't want to hear Shakespeare text spoken at occasionally high speeds or w/ occasional high volume sound design.

During previews
94
Intelligent, Hilarious, Great acting, Funny, Ambitious

See it if ...you tend to fall on the non-classicist side of show criticism; willing to try something new.

Don't see it if if you're not entirely ready engage abstract/deconstructionist art where Shakespeare is concerned.

Also I'm a tad surprised at some of the negative reviews here. I saw this s... Read more Read less


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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