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The Merchant of Venice (The Secret Theatre)

From 7 member  reviews
Members say: Great acting, Ambitious, Absorbing, Must see, Funny

About the show

The Secret Theatre presents Shakespeare's dark comedy about ethnic animosity set in post-World War II Italy. More…

This mounting of the Bard's troublesome comedy shines a spotlight on anti-Semitism while still finding the laughs in the romantic subplots. Young suitor Bassanio needs some cash so he can woo the elegant Portia in style. We're talking a team of servants, a new set of fancy threads, and plenty of bling to impress the rich heiress. The problem is, Bassanio's broke. His best friend Antonio would personally lend him the cash, but all of his money is tied up in ventures involving a bunch of merchant ships and a harrowing sea. So Antonio suggests Bassanio borrow money from Shylock, using his buddy's good credit as collateral. Shylock agrees to the loan, but asks for a pound of Antonio's flesh as a guarantee. Shylock acts like it's all in 'merry sport,' but when he ends up demanding his bond in a big courtroom showdown, nobody's laughing.

Member Reviews (7)


Great acting, Ambitious, Absorbing, Must see, Funny
Avg Score

Absorbing, Great acting, Refreshing

See it if you enjoy a fresh take on a Shakespeare classic. Great acting, especially Shylock.

Don't see it if you don't like Shakespeare or the themes present in this play.

Great acting, Must see, Profound, Resonant, Thought-provoking

See it if You love original interpretations of Shakespeare, excellent acting, easy to follow plot. Very comedic at times, but tragic.

Don't see it if You don't appreciate Shakespeare! Otherwise, see this before it closes! Great intro to Shakespeare for anyone, including teens!

Absorbing, Ambitious, Edgy

See it if you love Shakespeare

Don't see it if if you only look at the pictures in the newspaper

Clever, Funny, Great staging, Quirky, Riveting

See it if You enjoy a funny show that keeps you entetained the entire time.

Don't see it if You are easily confused by Shakespearian language.

Thought-provoking, Excruciating, Ambitious

See it if You want to see 2 fabulous actress steal a show from a cast of men

Don't see it if You prefer fast paced Shakespeare

Absorbing, Ambitious, Great acting

See it if this production is creative, daring, and intelligent

Don't see it if you hate theater

Funny, Great acting, Enchanting, Delightful, Must see

See it if You love to laugh, you love Shakespeare, and you enjoy a great ending.

Don't see it if you prefer dramas, you dislike Shakespeare, you do not enjoy great theatre.

September 16th, 2016
"A terrific new production...The Secret Theatre has produced a very compelling 'Merchant of Venice'...Outstanding casting and acting from the principal characters take the play to an entirely different level...Richard Mazda, with his distinctive accent that hearkens a character actor in an Englis...
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September 17th, 2016
"It is set in post-WWII Italy...This update to the story is handled well, and indeed adds a new dimension, without detracting from the emphasis of the story. This production has put together a generally talented cast...The cast is made up of largely younger performers, the most seasoned and elder...
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September 4th, 2016
"The superb new production accepts Shakespeare’s villain at face value, portraying him through Mazda’s scorching performance as a complex, twisted bad guy deserving of both sympathy and despite...Bonilla has set the action in post-World War II Italy...The conceit works, thanks to Bonilla’s fully ...
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September 9th, 2016
"The real test of contemporary re-imaginings of the Bard lies in how they walk the fine line between the poetry of the language and the complexity of the plot. In this regard, the production succeeds with flying colors. The attempt to deliver the lines with strict Elizabethan pronunciation is don...
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