The Merchant of Venice (TFANA)
Closed 2h 40m
The Merchant of Venice (TFANA)
86

The Merchant of Venice (TFANA) NYC Reviews and Tickets

86%
(17 Reviews)
Positive
94%
Mixed
6%
Negative
0%
Members say
Great acting, Absorbing, Ambitious, Resonant, Thought-provoking

John Douglas Thompson stars in this new-age retelling of the Bard's classic tale of revenge. 

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Member Reviews (17)

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739 Reviews | 208 Followers
85
Resonant, Intelligent, Absorbing, Entertaining, Great acting

See it if you'd like an accessible new production with contemporary costumes and hair. It moves along well with interesting use of a nearly bare set.

Don't see it if you dislike the introduction of current items (vaping, cell phone) and only want the traditional play and setting with period costumes.

248 Reviews | 44 Followers
84
Great acting, Thought-provoking, Ambitious

See it if You are interested how a schizophrenic classic can be interpreted for our times. See a great actor turn Shylock the Jew into Everyman.

Don't see it if Color-blind casting, modern dress, cell phones, a comedy with a less-than happy ending. Not your grandmother's Shakespeare. Read more

240 Reviews | 71 Followers
86
Brilliant new take, Great acting, Absorbing

See it if You want to see new take on this terribly anti-Semitic play with diverse cast and brilliant John Douglas Thompson supported with great cast

Don't see it if You don’t like updated Shakespeare in Modern dress and color blind casting

230 Reviews | 63 Followers
69
Completely "tone-deaf" production that whoopi goldberg would luv?, Great acting, Funny, Cliched, Ambitious

See it if I think this casting indicates what is a major problem w/ this show & Y they cast black for Jewish. Cause like Whoopi Goldberg, they're dumb

Don't see it if Don't see if you are Jewish unless you want to be infuriated.

225 Reviews | 42 Followers
90
Masterful, Great acting, Smart directorial touches

See it if you enjoy approachable, totally absorbing and modern take on a classic, with a terrific ensemble cast that make the text breathe & resonate.

Don't see it if you dislike spare productions with little to no sets, or prefer a more "classic" presentation of Shakespeare's works with no interpretation.

192 Reviews | 123 Followers
88
“shylock” is a true star, Refreshing, Masterful, Great staging, Absorbing

See it if Original text, but new interpretation; heavy hearted with no resolution. Actor playing “Shylock”dim others, and has all my empathy/sympathy

Don't see it if 3hrs with one 10min break. Comedic supporting characters are strong. Antonio/Bassanio’s secret gay romance is annoying, partly cuz … Read more

171 Reviews | 22 Followers
95
Profound, Resonant, Relevant, Great acting, Absorbing

See it if You like to se Shakespeare well spoken and excellently acted with a stella and diverse cast. This is a Merchant for the ages.

Don't see it if You do not like Shakespeare and have an aversion to a play which depicts some of the worst aspects of humanity. Read more

141 Reviews | 118 Followers
85
Great acting, Great writing

See it if / for a great performance by John Douglas Thompson in a relatively straightforward performance of Merchant (w/exceptions noted below).

Don't see it if you would be bothered by hints that Antonio and Bassanio are gay lovers (not a new idea) or that Lorenzo is abusive to Jessica (new to me).

Critic Reviews (2)

New York Stage Review
February 15th, 2022

"4/5 stars...Every aspect of Shakespeare’s complex figure is on painful display...It turns out that Thompson is the mainstay in a production with a split personality...Arbus’s troupe does speak trippingly during the second act...Not so during the first act. From the start there’s so much air-sawing that’s it’s quicker to list the ensemble members who aren’t indulging themselves than those who are...American anti-Semitism is on the rise and racism remains egregiously unabated. Arbus deals brilliantly with both."
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New York Stage Review
February 15th, 2022

"4/5 stars...What Arbus does bring to the forefront is the reasoning behind Antonio’s 3,000-ducat loan: his love—and we do mean love—for Bassanio...Arbus’ final flourish is the addition of the Kol Nidre—the opening prayer of Yom Kippur—for Shylock and his daughter, Jessica (Danaya Esperanza)...It’s a brief but beautiful epilogue, and a reminder of the power of compassion and understanding."
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