"This ‘Merchant’ marks the first time I was able to watch without getting angry, and actually enjoy the story and its players…The answer to how Laws achieves this feat lies not only in his confident and playful staging, but in the judicious cuts made to the text. Most significant among these cuts are the grotesque extremes around the problem of Shylock...I do wonder, with the nastiness cut out, if it is still the same play. Honestly, though, I prefer this version." Full Review
"An entertaining musical portrayal of this overdone story...It felt like the audience helped decide what was going to happen next in the plot! For this, the director should truly be commended. This production is not bogged down with set, lights, or props. It is purely about the relationship of the characters to one another and to the audience. It is basic and beautiful...Some actors were more comfortable with the language than others, but with what some lacked others made up for." Full Review
See it if You're looking for a fresh, modern twist on a classic and you don't mind a healthy dose of 21st century influence and music thrown in.
Don't see it if You aren't open-minded about the bard's work being adjusted and are a Shakespeare purist or if small, intimate theater doesn't work for you.
See it if You love Shakespeare and want to see a modern-day version of his work; if you appreciate Old English plays
Don't see it if If you find Shakespeare boring or if you are looking for a musical.
See it if you enjoy Shakespeare with a somewhat modern take and the humor magnified. & Mumford and Sons music!
Don't see it if you prefer your Shakespeare untampered with and are a purist.
See it if Merchant as it should be: comedic at heart with some serious bits. Standout performances by Shylock, Antonio, and Portia.
Don't see it if If you hate to laugh and like stuffy theatre
See it if You enjoy Shakespeare; don't need to see fancy costumes or sets and are interested in supporting small theater companies.
Don't see it if You need to see theater in a traditional setting
See it if You like a modern take on Shakespeare's "problematic" romantic play, with contemporary music & wardrobe, and a touch of modern compassion.
Don't see it if You are a Shakespeare purist who thinks tampering with the Bard's exact words is a crime.
See it if you appreciate a new envisioning of a show that has been done every which way.
Don't see it if you are a Shakespeare "purist" expecting a production that follows exactly the script as it was originally written in the original period.
See it if You want to enjoy comedic Shakesphere. Enjoy grassroots theater production. Great acting and music
Don't see it if You are looking for standard drama. Do want an exciting new Shakesphere or unique setting
See it if you like Shakespeare with a slightly different approach (a somewhat condensed musical version) in a very intimate setting.
Don't see it if you only like pure Shakespeare or you do not want to interact with the actors.
See it if You enjoy energized, irreverent Shakespeare with lots of music and great acting
Don't see it if You're in to glitzy, big-budget theatre. You don't like folk music.
See it if You like anything Shakespeare and like it with a twist. You want to laugh. You want to root for the good "guys". You like love stories.
Don't see it if You don't like simple staging. You don't want to hear good music and singing. You want traditional Shakespeare. You don't want to laugh.
See it if you like Shakespeare done in an entertaining and original manner. Good way to introduce Shakespeare to people who see the bard as stuffy.
Don't see it if you are a purist and do not like anyone tampering with Shakespeare.
See it if you don't mind no production values at all as long as it is creative and entertaining nonetheless. If you enjoy a fresh look at Shakespeare.
Don't see it if you expect big production values, with lights, costumes, etc. Or if you want to see a classical staging of Shakespeare.
See it if You enjoy fun takes on Shakespearean classics or you want a fun night out with a beer and some great music.
Don't see it if You find yourself criticizing accidental political subtext a lot, as there is some of this in the show.
See it if you enjoy an unconventional take on Shakespeare and a romantic comedy. You are okay with the darker, religious theme being underplayed.
Don't see it if you dislike Shakespeare, characters breaking the fourth wall, actors interacting with playgoers, or anachronistic (think blues/folk) songs.
See it if you like modernized Shakespeare w/ non-traditional staging. If folk music integrated with story is up your alley (staging is in an alleyway)
Don't see it if you find immersive theatre to gimmicky and think cutting Shakespeare's "sacred" text is blasphemy!
See it if You want a contemporary "Merchant", edited in favor of the romantic themes of love & mercy w/less of the uncomfortable problem elements.
Don't see it if You prefer the traditional interpretation of "Merchant" & want all the problems & not-so happy resolutions.
See it if You like Shakespeare, know this play, and are open to a youthful but not really updated version. The language remains peerless, so go.
Don't see it if You dislike Shakespeare or are totally against anyone "messing with" the immortal Bard.
See it if you're nostalgic for slightly campy, shoestring-budget community Shakespeare productions that remind you of earnest, fun college theatre.
Don't see it if you want a faithful interpretation or slick staging. Avoid if you don't like folksy musical interjections (i.e. a guitar-strumming Antonio).
See it if you are a fan of low brow humour and Shakespeare meeting popular culture, or if you are a fan of supporting small community theatres.
Don't see it if you want to see a Shakespeare show where all original dialogues is maintained, and extra fluff is not added.
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